Six Communities Advance Digital Inclusion

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Next Century Cities and Google Fiber have announced six winners in the 2017 Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards program. These awards celebrate city and county governments that are leading programs or empowering community-based organizations to tackle barriers to Internet adoption.

Around 15 percent of US households, or approximately 50 million Americans, don’t have internet in their homes. Families affected by the digital divide, many of whom are from lower-wealth neighborhoods, are at a disadvantage when it comes to doing homework, applying for jobs or staying in touch with loved ones.

The Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards featured two categories, with two overall winners selected in each category, and an additional entrant in each category receiving recognition for an innovative approach. The Leader in Digital Inclusion Best Practices and the Most Promising New Plan awards recognize established and newly-launched or planned programs, respectively.

In the Digital Inclusion Leader in Digital Inclusion Best Practices category, Boston, Massachusetts’ Tech Goes Home program and Raleigh, North Carolina’s Digital Connectors program were announced as overall winners, while Chicago, Illinois’ Learning Circles program received recognition as the most innovative approach.

In the Most Promising New Plan category, New York, New York’s Queensbridge Connected initiative and Riverside County, California’s RIVCOconnect program were selected as overall winners, with the most innovative approach prize going to Kansas City, Missouri’s Internet Services and Weatherization Program.

Next Century Cities has put up a page with links to project summaries for each of the winners here.