With New Fellowships, Google Takes Another Stab At Bridging The Digital Divide In KC
Google will fund two temporary positions in Kansas City aimed at narrowing the digital divide, the company announced Thursday. The people hired for the positions will work to get people in low-income communities online.
Google Fiber came to Kansas City pledging to make the internet more accessible to everyone. It offered very low cost connections in some neighborhoods, but didn’t wire others, where interest in the service was low. The upfront cost of installing Google Fiber made it unattractive for many low-income renters.
Andrew Bentley manages Google Fiber’s Digital Inclusion Program, and he says the “fellows” funded under this program and the local organizations hosting them will have lots of leeway.
“Residents and community advocates in Kansas City, they’re going to know what makes sense for their community more than I would, or a Google employee that’s not from Kansas City,” says Bentley.
Google’s taking the same approach in the other seven cities with Google Fiber. Each community will get two fellows who will make $35,000 each for their year working on the program.
Google will spend a little under $1 million on the program nationwide.