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Attacking the Urban Digital Divide – with Vigor!

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There is a huge need to put our urban broadband house in order. ConnectHome is the Obama administration’s latest salvo to narrow the gap between the digital have’s and the have not’s, particularly in urban areas.

Michael Liimatta, newly appointed Manager of ConnectHome by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, lays out the goals and strategies for the agency in the upcoming months. ConnectHome works with ISPs, non-profits and the private sector to offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units in 28 communities across the nation.

The media focuses coverage on rural broadband network issues, but there is an equal need in urban areas for improved broadband infrastructure and aggressive broadband adoption activities. Liimatta brings valuable some of the lessons from his broadband adoption experience in Kansas City as co-founder and CEO of Connecting for Good.

Our discussion will include suggestions for how communities can partner with HUD so that ConnectHome gets the most impact possible for its broadband efforts. Liimatta also highlights state and federal grant programs, foundations and communities’ broadband efforts can facilitate urban broadband deployment.

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