City’s Digital Technology Committee seeks input on pilot projects to address the “Digital Divide” in Madison

April 21, 2014

Interested Coalitions Should Contact City by Monday, May 5th

The “Digital Divide” is the gulf that exists, for geographic or socio-economic reasons, between those who have easy access to computers and the internet, and those who do not. This is especially worrisome in Madison for children in families who are on the wrong side of the “Digital Divide” and are at risk of falling even farther behind their better-connected peers.

In response, the Common Council allocated $150,000 in capital funding to provide internet access infrastructure to areas in Madison in 2014 that are affected by the “Digital Divide”. The Digital Technology Committee (DTC) expects the allocated amount will fund between one and three projects in the City. The DTC will recommend projects be funded that complement the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Technology Plan.

The DTC wants to hear from interested coalitions that could build programs around infrastructure using the pilot project(s) fund. Coalitions could include: schools, neighborhood centers, community groups, neighborhood associations, business associations, non-profit organizations, and commercial partners.

The DTC would like to learn more about interested coalitions and project proposals. Information provided should include:
• A brief description of your coalition and its makeup
• How your coalition could help with a program
• Your desired program outcomes
• Additional letters of support are preferred but not required

Our main goal is to gather information on sites of interest and hear creative ideas related to bridging the gap in the “Digital Divide”. Interested parties can provide this information in the form of a brief letter to the committee.

The DTC will be collecting project ideas the next few weeks. The committee will then review project ideas before gathering a number of finalists at our June meeting. At the DTC July meeting, we will recommend the projects to be funded.

The DTC would advise coalitions to identify a single contact person, who would be invited to the DTC meeting on Thursday, May 8, 2014 for an extended conversation. To be added to our discussion, interested coalitions should Paul Kronberger, City of Madison's Chief Information Officer (PKronberger@cityofmadison.com) by 4 p.m. on Monday, May 5, 2014.

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