Connect Arkansas Inc.
Arkansas, with the third-lowest per-capital income in the nation, also ranks 49th in online connectivity—29 percent of its population has never used the Internet according to the 2008 Arkansas New Economy Index and a related Connect Arkansas survey. Aware that relevancy of the Internet and digital literacy are frequent barriers to broadband adoption, Connect Arkansas is proposing a project centered around the basics of digital literacy, online entrepreneurship, and access to tele-health services. First, the project will offer basic computer training and refurbished computers to qualifying families. Second, the project will feature training in the tools of business, including writing basic business plans, the principles of entrepreneurship, and other key skills and plans to showcase student businesses through the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation. Third, Connect Arkansas also intends to collaborate with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to oversee a comprehensive broadband-based health awareness campaign and provide hands-on training to medical facilities and healthcare providers.