OCTO Does Digital Inclusion with Connect.DC by Charnice A. Milton
n March 25, nonprofit executives, community leaders, and technologists convened at Arena Stage for “Do Something Better: A Nonprofit Technology Summit.” The summit, according to a press release, was “designed to help local nonprofits and community-based organizations leverage technology to improve their operations and productivity and support the District of Columbia’s effort to provide affordable Internet access to unconnected
DC residents and close the digital divide.” It was one of many ways that Connect.DC, an offshoot of the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), is trying to address this problem.
DC’s Digital Divide
“Digital divide” refers to the gap between those with access to broadband and other digital resources and those without. Usually those
with limited or no access vary by income, education, and age. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, there are four main reasons why some adults do not use Internet resources. First, they believe that the Internet is not relevant to them. Second, they feel it is not easy to use. Third, the cost of owning a computer and paying for an Internet connection is too high. Last, there is a physical lack of availability or access to the Internet.
Connect.DC’s Mobile Tech Lab parked outside of Arena Stage, where “Do Something Better: A Nonprofit Technology Summit” was held on March 25. Photo: Charnice A. Milton
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