Identifying and fulfilling infrastructure, connectivity, and content needs so that all Philadelphians have the opportunity to connect to our digital future.
The City's approach to Digital Inclusion considers both access and adoption as critical elements. Our largest Digital Inclusion initiative, The Freedom Rings Partnership, is a collaborative consortium of nonprofits, universities, and City agencies working to provide physical infrastructure so that citizens can access technology, but also develop content and training programs so that citizens can adopt technology.
In a city where an estimated 41% of residents lack Internet access, the digital divide impacts families and communities by limiting access to educational, economic and civic resources. Only through this comprehensive, stakeholder-driven effort can we connect Philadelphians to a digital future.
The Freedom Rings Partnership is led by the City of Philadelphia and the Urban Affairs Coalition. Through its Public Computing Center and Sustainable Broadband Adoption grant initiatives, the Freedom Rings Partnership will:
- reach over 100,000 Philadelphians with information about the importance of broadband to their daily lives
- provide free Internet access at 77 Public Computer Centers throughout the City
- deliver hands-on training to over 15,000 people
Freedom Rings Partnership Access
Thirty of the seventy-seven planned Public Computer Center sites are now operating throughout the city. So far the Freedom Rings Partnership has "graduated" 115 students through a PHA training program. These graduates earned a Netbook after completing an 8 hour training program. In total, 5,000 PHA residents will be eligible for earned Netbooks.
Freedom Rings Partnership Adoption
So far the Freedom Rings Partnership has delivered 120,823 hours of training to 7,399 participants across many training locations in Philadelphia neighborhoods. In addition, the plan is to attract at least 5,000 new subscribers to the Internet. Many of these subscribers are likely to be signed up through the new Comcast Internet Essentials program.