Wednesday, April 5, 2017

RIHousing Works with Partners to Bring Low-Cost Computer Services to Communities

RIHousing, the Rhode Island Office of Innovation and national nonprofit EveryoneOn have partnered to administer ConnectRI, an initiative aimed at eliminating the digital divide by offering high-speed, low-cost internet service, computers and digital literacy courses to Rhode Islanders in need.

The Pew Research Center estimates that 80% of students need internet access to complete their homework and that 90% of job applications are submitted online. However, in Rhode Island, nearly 26% of households are not connected to the internet. Closing the digital divide is essential in order to ensure that Rhode Islanders have the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy. ConnectRI addresses these challenges by working to bring high speed internet access to every Rhode Island household.

“The digital divide is holding back our students and our workforce,” said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of RIHousing. “ConnectRI addresses this issue head-on by making these resources accessible to even more of our residents. We’re looking forward to working with our partners to create education and employment opportunities for Rhode Islanders.”

RIHousing will utilize its existing relationships with many of the state’s least connected residents to spread awareness of the program and identify those Rhode Islanders who will benefit most from ConnectRI.