Tech Exchange selected among 23 community organizations to support San José 10-year digital inclusion effort
Despite being the largest city in Silicon Valley, San José has a persistent digital divide that excludes many residents from the opportunities offered by technologies that are developed in its own backyard. A city-sponsored survey found that 95,000 San José residents (50,000 households) lack access to broadband. Statewide; the number of unconnected residents is five million.
A grant from the San Jose City Council aims to bridge the divide by connecting 50,000 San José low-income households to the Internet in the next 10 years.
San José is using fees collected from companies rolling out 5G and leveraging them with privately-raised funds. The program expects to distribute up to $24 million in grants over the next decade to local nonprofits, public agencies and educational institutions. The selected organizations are positioned to offer universal device access and affordable universal connectivity, ensuring currently disconnected households achieve and sustain the appropriate digital skills proficiency level to stay ahead of technology and increase quality of life outcomes.
The city has designed the Partnership to be a collaborative, outcomes-driven effort by a wide range of community institutions, nonprofits, corporations and civic leaders. CETF, a statewide nonprofit established in 2005 by the California Public Utilities Commission to close the digital divide by accelerating the deployment of broadband, has been appointed by the San José City Council to manage the grants from the Digital Inclusion Fund.
The San José City Council announced recipients of the grant, including Tech Exchange among the 23 organizations:
2020 DIGITAL INCLUSION FUND GRANT RECIPIENTS
“Digital access is still a barrier for far too many Bay Area residents,” says Seth Hubbert, Executive Director of Tech Exchange. “Approximately 1.5 million Bay Area residents lack access to broadband and a home computer. The Digital Inclusion Fund helps to leverage our collective commitment to building stronger and more inclusive communities.”