Community Broadband Access

High speed Internet for low-income, under-served communities


  • Community Internet:
    • High speed Internet access for households and affordable housing developments in underserved communities.
    • Allows job applications, inquiries and skill-building, at the household level.
  • Business Internet:
    • High speed Internet access for local businesses.
    • Increases the possibility for new ICT hiring, due to improved Internet resources and software access.
    • IT resources for business processes that were previously done manually.
    • On-line hiring capabilities.
    • Recruitment and development of new business that is Internet-dependent.
    • Expansion of customer base through e-commerce.

Program Structure

  • Funding for developing Internet service to be acquired by local school districts (e.g., Federal Stimulus funds and/or County Office of Education Funds.)
  • Community collaboration to take advantage of discounted services available to public education (EDTech 90% discount) and the Housing Authority (CalNet 80% discount.)
  • Distribution of free DSL services to educational institutions.
  • Low-fee or no-cost Internet services are contracted by educational institutions or cities to city agencies, residents and businesses.

Program Alternatives

Organizational Prerequisites

  • Collaboration between City, education system, housing authority, CBOs and IT industry partners.
  • Funding applications to appropriate agencies.
  • Administration of systems for Internet service support.
  • Billing systems may be needed.
  • Relationship with local Internet service provider.
  • Staff for liaison and troubleshooting.


For clients

  • Establishing new service may be daunting.
  • Troubleshooting can be frustrating.
  • Computer hardware access, training and technical support are needed.

For the organization

  • Maintaining productive relationships with collaborative partners and Internet service provider.
  • Support and technical expertise for establishing and maintaining Internet connections.
  • Infrastructure for tracking and providing customer service and tech support.
  • Billing services may be required if DSL will be re-sold.

Elements of Success

  • Strength of partnerships and long-term agreements (3+ years.)
  • Trust of community; strong relationships with residents.
  • Adequate funding to provide accessible, affordable training and technical support to residents “at scale,” .
  • A cadre of community-based tech support teams.
  • Staff: Program Developer (0.5 FTE); Outreach/Marketing (0.5 FTE); Trainer (0.5 FTE.)


  • Corporations.
  • Foundations.
  • Government local.
  • State.
  • Other nonprofits.
  • Individuals.
  • local business.



  • Corporations.
  • Foundations.
  • Government.
  • local (city/county).
  • State.
  • Federal.
  • Individuals.
  • Earned income

    • Fees.
    • Other earned income.