The Best Buy and Microsoft Corporations are partnering with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide help to people without Internet service. The following announcement will be made on Wednesday October 12, 2011:
The “Connect to Compete” public-private initiative, to be announced Wednesday (10/11/2012) by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, aims to assist the broadband-challenged — many of whom are poor, unemployed or live in rural areas — from falling behind in today’s tech-centric economy. Plans include offering Internet skills classes, digital tutoring and job certification programs online and on-site at Best Buy stores, libraries and schools.
It will be interesting to follow the progress of this program. Best Buy and Microsoft are to be applauded for taking these actions to reduce the digital divide in the United States.
U.S. broadband adoption (68%) currently falls far below that of countries such as Singapore and South Korea (each at 90%), Genachowski notes. “If we can take the broadband adoption rate to 100%, we will have doubled the size of the broadband market in U.S.,” he says. “That’s millions of more consumers online that will help boost our economy and our leadership position in the global economy.”