District of Columbia Government
In a citywide analysis of broadband subscription rates, the District of Columbia found that the economically troubled neighborhoods in Wards 5, 7, and 8 have a broadband adoption rate of less than 40 percent. To drive demand for broadband in those areas, the District’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer plans to launch the DC-BETA project, which proposes to provide broadband-related outreach, digital literacy and workforce skills training, refurbished computers, and subsidized broadband access through resource centers located in those wards. The project’s partners intend to provide digital literacy training at eight libraries and three Community College of DC locations, complete with multimedia and technical certification programs. Upon successful completion of these training programs, participants will receive a refurbished computer and nine months of free wireless broadband service. The project also plans to conduct extensive surveys in the project’s service area to track the progress of participants and students over time.