Sacramento, CA – NextGen Policy in partnership with EveryoneOn.org, announces CalConnect, a resource providing digital assistance to low-income Californians by matching them with low-cost internet service and computers in their area.
Despite California being a world leader in tech, thousands of Californians lack access to internet service across the state. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the digital divide as many of our critical functions have shifted to digital platforms. We have seen the increased need for healthcare, business, job training and distance learning all become dependent on internet access. Well into the fall 2020 school semester, 1 in 5 students lacks access to high-speed quality internet in California.
Thousands of households across our great state, in rural and tribal areas as well as high-populated cities , who are juggling working from home and distance learning, can not take on the extra cost of hardware and high-speed internet. Many families simply cannot afford to get online — CalConnect aims to mitigate these costs for those most in need. Executive Director of NextGen Policy, Arnold Sowell Jr. says, “The reality is that COVID-19 has exacerbated inequities that have long-existed in the system. We cannot allow already socio and economically disadvantaged groups to fall deeper through the cracks left by the digital divide. Access to affordable quality internet service for some families means not being forced to complete schoolwork in a fast-food parking lot and being able to keep food on the table.”
To determine eligibility, information can be found at EveryoneOn.org/CalConnect. For information in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Hmong and ways to get involved visit NextGenPolicy.org/CalConnect.