Closing the Digital Divide: Three Communities' Solutions

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Inequitable access to the internet became a glaring public health issue during the pandemic. Here’s how three communities addressed the digital divide equitably and quickly:

  • In Cleveland (OH), nonprofit DigitalC has been working to provide equitable internet service since 2003, when it started connecting neighborhood networks to the larger internet. DigitalC is now bringing wireless broadband service to those neighborhoods.
  • When schools across the US closed in March 2020, the Murray City School District (UT) was more prepared than most. With the help of money from the federal CARES Act passed in the early days of the pandemic, the school district created an LTE network by installing 25 seven-foot-tall cell towers on 11 school district buildings.
  • The success of Project Waves—a community-owned internet network in Baltimore (MD)—is a testament to community trust, says founder Adam Bouhmad. Since March 2020, Project Waves has been able to connect more than 120 households via fixed wireless service. An additional 68 households are connected through a partnership with Baltimore City Schools.

Closing the Digital Divide