It may come as a surprise to many, but Internet isn’t a given. Despite countless digital touchpoints and the omnipresence of Internet culture, nearly 20 million Americans don’t have access to high-speed Internet.
The chasm between the technological haves and have-nots has been a central focus for governments, communities and NGOs alike. Living without the Internet is a major disadvantage in today’s tech-first society. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become an even more glaring issue as education and work transitioned to an online environment. For those without the right digital resources and connection, they get left behind.
Internet access is a gateway to a stronger economy, a boon of educational resources and the pathway to a more seamless and connected health care system. And that’s just the beginning. To get there, we must expand access and capabilities through digital equity.
What digital equity means to us
For altafiber a more digitally equitable future is imperative. The future we see:
- Increases the availability of high-speed public Wi-Fi networks.
- Provides access to computer devices.
- Includes investments in digital readiness.
Digital equity wouldn’t just change the lives of individuals, it could change society. It’s not a future we’re simply imagining either, it’s a future we’re investing in.
Our investments to advance digital equity
In the past 24 months, we’ve poured $250 million into public-private partnerships to help expand access in local communities. Through such a partnership, we provided Internet access to the Village of Lockland and the Lockland Local School District. In Boone County, expanded access has become a priority for local government, and altafiber is projected to connect nearly 40,000 homes to broadband Internet. We’ve also partnered with the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) to bring free high-speed Internet to more than 1,200 residents living in CMHA properties. Furthermore, we partnered with Butler Rural Electric Cooperative to expand its fiber network to deliver high-speed Fioptics Internet to the service territory. We also partnered with the Oregon District by donating infrastructure, Wi-Fi and equipment for the district.
We’re facing a monumental task, but it’s one we’re working towards boldly.
How businesses can help
There are ways other businesses can help.
Companies can aid in financing Internet access or providing technology (such as computers and hotspots) to employees and interns, particularly as working-from-home remains a critical component of modern employment. Businesses can also evaluate their own values and make it a point to help those in their community by implementing digital equity initiatives. Even purchasing your Internet from altafiber makes an impact, since part of your money is being invested into the community around you.
We won’t solve this tomorrow, but each and every day we get closer and closer to closing the gap. And we won’t stop until everyone is connected.
Connect with us now and learn more.