In our ever-increasing online society, the difference between those with broadband access compared to those is creating a digital divide. The Commonwealth of Virginia is seeking to close that digital divide. The main barriers preventing many Virginians from participating online are availability and affordability of service and devices. Below are resources designed to these barriers.
Low-Cost Internet Service Programs
Some internet service providers offer internet service at a reduced rate to schools and households that meet a certain criteria and are within their service footprint. Below are some of those programs.
- CenturyLink Internet Basics
- Comcast Internet Essentials
- Cox Connect to Compete
- T-Mobile EmpowerED 2.0 Program
- Sprint 1 Million Project
The Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment Program (Virginia STAR or VA STAR) is an after school club in schools all across the Commonwealth of Virginia. These students refurbish computers and work toward IT industry standard certifications. The program helps teach students to refurbish surplus computer hardware from government agencies and private companies. The refurbished computers are donated to families, organizations, and school districts at no cost.
In addition to providing access to public computers, many of Virginia’s public libraries also offer other Internet-related resources such as training programs and lending mobile hot spots. Check out the Library of Virginia’s Public Library Directory to find out what your local library offers.
Free Public WiFi
There may be businesses in your community that offer free WiFi. Find out where.