Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has issued a request for information (RFI) intended to gather recommendations and ideas for how to provide affordable, quality, and reliable internet service options that meet the needs of communities most burdened by the digital divide. The city’s goal is to improve access to high-quality internet and internet adoption for residents living in historically underinvested communities.

Western Illinois University (WIU) has partnered with four local community libraries to establish the ‘Chromebook Lending Program’ to help close the state’s digital divide as telework and online learning continue to boost demand for devices.

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After more than two months of angling and dealmaking, the House of Representatives voted to approve the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework – on November 5, sending the bill along with its $2 billion in cyber funding and $65 billion in broadband appropriations to President Biden’s desk for final approval.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City would spend the next three years building publicly-owned broadband infrastructure serving 1.6 million residents while partnering on immediate-term affordable internet connectivity for more than 250,000 residents.

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In an effort to close the digital divide, AT&T announced it’s opening more than 20 learning centers across the country that will provide access to free digital devices, high-speed internet, Wi-Fi, and online educational content for underserved students.

Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Angus King, I-Maine, introduced a bipartisan bill that aims to close the digital divide and promote “digital equity” utilizing $250 million in annual grants, according to a press release.

As the state has shifted to distanced and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Jersey Department of Education announced it has closed the K-12 digital divide by using roughly $60 million in Federal funding.

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Detroit announced it will hire Joshua Edmonds as its first director of digital inclusion to help make computer and internet access more accessible to the city’s citizens.

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