WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 16, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor announced that Tampa was selected as one of only 27 communities nationwide to participate in ConnectHOME, which promotes locally tailored solutions to help bridge the gap in digital access for working-class households by addressing the barriers they have to high-speed broadband.
“I am so pleased to land this innovative and important project as part of President Obama’s initiative to boost technology where barriers exist, “ U.S. Rep. Castor said. “It is a significant gain for Tampa, boosting access to digital opportunities for our students and developing the types of skills needed to secure today’s higher paying jobs for all our kids.”
“We have worked hard for federal investments to deploy or upgrade network infrastructure to improve students’ access to high-speed, broadband in their classrooms but we can do better for our communities, working families and children. ConnectHOME is an important next step — develop strong public-private partnerships to expand high-speed, broadband access at home for working-class families and increase computer literacy for all our kids.”
A White House report released today on the digital divide states that variation in Internet adoption within cities is strongly correlated with household income. ConnectHOME is a pilot program that will initially reach more than 275,000 low-income households – and nearly 200,000 children – with the support they need to access the Internet at home.
“Our community is fortunate to have outstanding schools, caring teachers and other resources that have a positive impact on youth development. But we have a glaring disparity if some students go to homes that are not plugged in and don’t have the digital resources to complete research assignments and digitally communicate with teachers and their peers. They will not have the same opportunities to compete in today’s technological revolution and as a consequence our community and our economy will suffer without the contributions of these children,” U.S. Rep. Castor added. “ConnectHOME addresses the disconnect that exists within our own community so that more of our neighbors can benefit from today’s digital opportunities and more children can focus on doing well in school and stay on track.”
U.S. Rep. Castor is a member of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, which oversees cable and telecommunications issues. She has also cosponsored the Broadband Adoption Act of 2015, which aims to expand broadband access to qualifying, low-income consumers through the Lifeline program.