Solving the digital divide? Do you have suggestions?

In my real world job, I work in advertising. I’m active in my professional organization, the local chapter of the AAF. I’ve been in since day one of the planning of an annual event called summitup– where we bring social media gurus to talk in Dayton and try to school the masses on what social media can do.

This year- it’s going to be huge. so huge, that we should have a bunch of leftover money. What to do? Yes, we could split it up among the 7 or 8 participating organizations- or we could try to make a difference with a bit of it.

We’re wondering if anyone knows anyone doing the following:

Access to the Internet is becoming a crucial part of being part of out knowledge based economy. However, the costs of a computer and internet access can cause a widening of the digital divide. The easy solution is mobile- smart phones with data access. The problem is almost all smart phones, also come with a much larger bill if they have data access. Yes, free wi-fi could solve some of these problems- but, many base level phones don’t utilize wifi as a possibility.

We’re wondering if there are organizations, funds, programs- to provide inexpensive data plans and devices for low income people. We know the library has become the internet point of use for many- however, that still requires some computer literacy- whereas phones- just work.

If you know of options that are out there- or programs, please help our organizations with the connection. If not, we may work on setting up some pilot programs.

Any info on wifi enabled phones- without additional data costs- would be appreciated as well.

Thanks in advance.

Please tweet this call for help.

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