The Connected Nation Blog: May 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Connect Ohio: The eCS profile

In the past quarter, Connect Ohio has been busy:

28 more counties have become involved in the non-profit’s eCommunity strategy process, which helps counties develop a way to address challenges related to technology growth;
560 additional participants have joined in the process, helping to grow the grassroots efforts; and
400 computers have been distributed through Connect Ohio’s No Child Left Offline program.

Thanks to the work on these teams, every one of Ohio’s 88 counties and more than 2,500 people are helping Ohioans in the fight for ubiquitous broadband.

“We are very optimistic that the work put into each county’s plan will result in affordable broadband Internet service becoming available to every Ohioan in the near future, said Tom Fritz, Connect Ohio’s executive director.

To learn more about Connect Ohio’s work, visit its Web site or subscribe to its e-mail updates.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Power of Broadband: The Public Television Perspective

In Kentucky, preparing to take the GED exam and learning workplace and life skills is now easier, instant and free—thanks to Kentucky Educational Television's FastForward, an online educational service that provides instant, free access to lifelong learning videos to Kentucky residents.

The free service has several program series:

  • "GED Connection"—helps people prepare for all five subjects on the GED exam, with special attention to the calculator used on the exam, the essay, special answer formats and test day tips. KET has been a national leader for decades in using technology to help adults get their GED
  • "Pre-GED"—covers reading, writing, math, science and social studies skills
  • "Workplace Essential Skills"—helps jobseekers find and retain employment
  • "TV411"—a life skills series featuring actors, writers, sports figures and everyday people.

And, without broadband, these services couldn't and wouldn't happen. Hundreds of thousands of Kentucky households have gained access to broadband since the inception of the ConnectKentucky initiative in 2004, and Kentucky's broadband adoption rate has more than doubled over the same time period.

KET's successful on-line program has garnered attention some public attention, including from the Association of Public Television Stations, and here at Connected Nation. (KET is an in-state partner of the successful Kentucky broadband initiative, ConnectKentucky.)

We think KET's work is a tangible example of how broadband can change lives, providing education, life and work skills in an effective, instant way.

We invite you to check out FastForward and other programs offered by APTS and its members' stations.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Connected Tennessee, a Connected Nation non-profit, reaches a major milestone

Deanna Ward (left) of Connected Tennessee presents a computer to Demetria Smith during a Connected Tennessee Computer 4 Kids event.

"If you want to be an athlete, you need a helmet and pads but if you want to get an education, you need a computer." - Deanna Ward, Connected Tennessee, May 5, 2009

Earlier this month, Connected Tennessee, a Connected Nation non-profit, reached a major milestone, donating its 1,600th computer as part of its two-year old Computers 4 Kids program.

Darlene Adams, just one of the program's many computer recipients, expressed her overwhelming gratitude at a donation ceremony on May 5 in Covington, Tenn.

"Right now I want to cry, I really do because I mean I can't afford to buy a computer so my kids they are going to love this," she told WHBQ-TV in Memphis, Tenn.

Connected Tennessee's Computers 4 Kids initiative places computers in the hands of underprivileged children and their families across Tennessee. In a term of three years, the program will donate at least 3,000 computers to children, families and organizations in need across the state.

As America fights for widespread broadband, programs like Connected Tennessee's Computers 4 Kids can help eliminate one of the barriers of broadband adoption—computer ownership.

To see other stories from CTN's Computers 4 Kids intitiative, visit the program's Web site.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CN’s National Policy Director Outlines the Best Practices for Closing Broadband Adoption Gaps

On Monday, Philip Brown, Connected Nation’s national policy director, was part of a roundtable session, “Increasing Demand: Best Practices for Closing the Broadband Adoption Gap,” during the TPS: Broadband Innovation conference in San Mateo, Calif.

“Connected Nation was a sponsor of the Tech Policy Summit this year and was honored to share our insight into the ways Connected Nation and its programs have successfully and dramatically helped to increase broadband adoption rates. Our in-depth research, local grassroots approach to demand creation, and Computers 4 Kids program were all highlighted, along with the work of OneEconomy and The Children’s Partnership, as effective tactics for increasing sustainable broadband adoption, particularly among at-risk populations,” he said.

The roundtable also featured Alan Greenlee of One Economy, Elaine Carpenter of The Children’s Partnership and Gary Bolles of Xigi, with Professor Allen Hammond of the BroadBand Institute of California serving as moderator.

The TPS: Broadband Innovation conference was held prior to the third annual Tech Policy Summit, held this week, May 11-13.

What others are saying:

[Minnesota] selected Connected Nation as a result of the company’s innovative model that works on behalf of the State to develop high quality and verifiable products. Further, the State of Minnesota decided that Connected Nation’s approach to mapping, based on voluntary collaboration with the provider community, is the most expedient and effective way to produce this important policy tool…Connected Nation and Connect Minnesota have been excellent partners for Minnesota. As you develop a plan for mapping broadband availability across the United States, we invite and encourage you to look closely at Minnesota’s broadband mapping process. We believe you will find an excellent model for mapping broadband availability in such a way that is transparent, verifiable, continuously updated, and perhaps most importantly, practical and valuable for identifying those unserved and underserved areas of Minnesota.”

--Diane Wells, manager of the state’s telecommunication division in the Minnesota Department of Commerce, describing the powerful impact of the work done by Connected Nation’s Connect Minnesota initiative in a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Monday, May 11, 2009

TPS: Broadband Innovation conference to feature Connected Nation's national policy director

Today, the TPS: Broadband Innovation conference began in San Mateo, Calif, as part of the third annual, three-day Tech Policy Summit. NextGenWeb is live streaming today’s events, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PDT.

Philip Brown, Connected Nation’s national policy director, will speak today (beginning at 2:15 p.m. PDT) at a roundtable session, “Increasing Demand: Best Practices for Closing the Broadband Adoption Gap,” as part of the conference. The roundtable will also feature Alan Greenlee of One Economy, Elaine Carpenter of The Children’s Partnership and Gary Bolles of Xigi, with Professor Allen Hammond of the BroadBand Institute of California serving as moderator.

To view the live videocast, visit