Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 3089-2023    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 10/30/2023 In control: Technology Committee
On agenda: 12/4/2023 Final action: 12/7/2023
Title: To authorize the Director of the Department of Technology to enter into a Subrecipient Agreement - Not-for-Profit Service Contract with the Franklin County Educational Service Center; and to authorize the expenditure of up to $15,705,443.00 from the Recovery Fund. ($15,705,443.00)
Attachments: 1. 3089-2023EXP
This ordinance authorizes granting American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds, totaling $15,705,443.00 to the Franklin County Educational Service Center to support the program goals of the Franklin County Digital Action Agenda and take actionable steps to make meaningful progress toward closing the digital divide.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Columbus worked with the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Columbus Foundation, Jewish Family Services, YWCA as well as SMRT Columbus and other non-profit organizations on making broadband accessible and affordable. An AECOM study done in 2020 provided that over 77,000 residents of Franklin County do not have access to affordable high-speed internet. Reliable internet should be as ubiquitous and affordable as water and electricity. In addition to affordable, high-speed internet access, residents should have access to quality devices with screens large enough to do real work, and skills training to do what they want and need to do online.
This partnership and the study started a comprehensive examination of digital equity in our community and produced the Franklin County Digital Equity Action Agenda which identifies the following program goals: Support the Franklin County Digital Equity Coalition, create a dedicated program office, provide devices and digital skills training for 9,600 households, create a digital community anchor force and digital coaches, provide continued outreach and adoption efforts for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), explore and seek opportunities to establish partnerships to extend city fiber for fiber connectivity opportunity, fund the assessment of ongoing research and digital equity and inclusion outcomes to measure and demonstrate value based outcomes for program activities and create a program library of shared resources content, curriculum and support that ensures high-quality services to program participants across mu...

Click here for full text