Connect the UnConnected
Once individuals have gained knowledge and the skills needed to understand and utilize technology, ensuring that technology is accessible and internet connectivity is available to our community members is essential.
Currently, more than one-third of Cleveland residents are without internet access (in any form); while as many as one-half of residents have no fixed wired home internet access.
DigitalC’s Connect the Unconnected (CUC) initiative is dedicated to establishing and safeguarding an affordable, reliable and sustainable broadband connectivity to Cleveland’s underserved neighborhoods.
Connecting Communities In our mission to connect the greater Cleveland community, DigitalC is working to establish a city-wide network that will provide access internet access to underserved neighborhoods.
Once the framework for the network has been developed, DigitalC with the help of stakeholders, anchor institutions and community members, will strategically roll-out internet access to multiple neighborhoods in the Fairfax, Hough and Glenville.
CUC 1.0: Bringing Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Housing Residents
(CMHA) Online (Phase I)
To be understand the needs of the community, DigitalC in partnership with Jeff Patterson, Executive Director of CMHA along with other CMHA colleagues, reached out to residents to host conversations, community forums and focus groups around residents’ highest priorities. Residents expressed that reviewing medical records, staying in touch with family and living securely in their apartment building were extremely important. Through the course of community engagement, it became even clearer that access to the internet would drastically improve the quality of life
for the community. In developing the right solution for CMHA residents, DigitalC connected and partnered with Izik Kirshenbaum of Siklu, Sunnyvale telecommunications giant, Actleis and RET3. With the provision Siklu’s millimeter wave wireless technology, high speed broadband from Actelis and refurbished wireless routers and computers, each resident now has access to the internet.
CUC 2.0: Bringing Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Housing Residents
(CMHA) Online (Phase II)
After the success of the first phase of connectivity for CMHA residents, with continued support from our partners, we expanded our focus and are now providing free internet service for three CMHA facilities (Cedar, Legacy and Bohn); now 556 households are better engaged with their families, their communities and are now empowered to better manage their healthcare and health services.
CUC 3.0: Fairfax (Phase II)
Building off the successful deployment of internet access at CMHA facilities, DigitalC is currently working to expand connectivity to Cleveland’s greater community through the Fairfax neighborhood project. At the core of our focus, we are working with partners and stakeholders to establish a city-wide network, sustainable solution that will provide internet to 18,000 households.
From Connectivity to Competency: Digital Skills Building
Ensuring that our undeserved communities have access to the internet is just one step in safeguarding an equitable digital future for Cleveland. Along with digital connectivity, community members need to build skills to understand and utilizing technology.
In addition to our ReStart program, our partners CMHA and the ASC3 provide basic digital literacy and connectivity training for housing residents.