Net Literacy to Showcase Successes in a Washington DC Broadband Adoption Summit Held by the US Internet Industry Association and Broadband for America

Net Literacy has been invited to showcase its successes of increasing computer access to over 150,000 individuals at a broadband adoption conference held by the US Internet Industry Association and Broadband for America on June 22nd at the Park Hyatt Washington in Washington DC. More about the conference is available at the USIIA website.

In May, 2009, the USIIA named Net Literacy as the preferred model for increasing digital inclusion in America. Two of Net Literacy Board members serve on Broadband for America’s Adoption Committee. The USIIA and Broadband for America asked Net Literacy to serve as a joint participant of the conference.

“Since 2003, Net Literacy’s student volunteers have increased broadband adoption and thousands of students have donated hundreds of thousands of hours of their time in the service to others,” said Student Chair Daniel Kent. “During a time when American corporations and our government should be identifying the most efficient and effective model to increase broadband adoption, Net Literacy spends thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to increase digital inclusion when other organizations spend millions of dollars or tens of millions of dollars. A community-based bottom-up public private partnership with student volunteers is a way that most efficiently increases broadband adoption on the community level.” Net Literacy has been recognized and received award from two American Presidents. US Senators Lugar and Bayh serve as Honorary Co-Chairs, and Congressmen, Lt. Governor Skillman, and Mayors also serve on its Honorary Board of Directors. Since 2005, Net Literacy has help provide or expanded over 500 computer labs throughout the Midwest.

This one day conference will discuss methods and case studies that increase broadband adoption in America and provide American tax payers and broadband providers an ROI. In its recent report to Congress, the Federal Communication’s Commission cited Net Literacy’s Community Connects and Senior Connects programs. The FCC also agreed with Net Literacy’s suggestion that a Digital Literacy Corps be created and that K-12 students on free or assisted lunch programs receive priority for subsidized or free computer hardware and broadband in the plan.

Net Literacy’s programs are independently used by students from New York to California and around the world. The US Internet Industry Association submitted a Filing to the Federal Communication Commission naming Net Literacy’s model as the preferred approach to reducing the digital divide in the United States. Net Literacy was selected by the European Union Study on Digital Inclusion as one of the 91 most promising good practice initiatives based upon an investigation of 32 countries including the EU Member States, the United States, Norway, Iceland, Canada, and India. Microsoft’s publication Innovating for inclusion: A Digital Inclusion guide for those leading the way, cites Net Literacy as one of the best of class digital inclusions examples. Other organizations and consortiums, including the US Broadband Coalition with 170 members that range from Google to Comcast and from Verizon to Cisco Systems cited Net Literacy and its model as a policy consideration in its “Adoption and Usage Report” for its programs in broadband adoption, helping the disabled, and improving the education process. The report was prepared for the Federal Communications Commission in behalf of America’s broadband industry to support the FCC’s National Broadband Plan Blueprint report to Congress. The Federal Communications Commission cited Net Literacy’s programs that teach senior citizens computer and Internet skills, teaching senior citizens, and our Digital Literacy Corps in the National Broadband Plan to Congress.

June 22nd Washington DC Broadband Adoption Summit a Success!

Blair Levin Receives Net Literacy Hero Award

With nearly 150 attendees and a “dream team” of speakers from the FCC, nonprofits, broadband providers, and other government organizations, the Broadband Adoption Summit was a success and thoughtfully discussed barriers to and catalysts that will enhance broadband adoption. Above, Net Literacy’s Daniel Kent presents a Net Literacy Hero Award to Blare Levin, the FCC’s Executive Director responsible for crafting the National Broadband Plan for Congress. Highlights of the summit, co-sponsored by Net Literacy, the US Internet Industry Association, and Broadband for America, can be viewed by clicking on this link.

The Summit was webcasted by the US Telecom Association and was videotaped by Broadband For America. The five media articles that were written will help increase awareness to digital inclusion and the importance of increasing broadband adoption. Net Literacy and the USIIA will jointly co-author a series of white papers further detailing the issues discussed during this summit.

Speakers included the key architects of the National Broadband Plan, including Blair Levin (FCC Executive Director), Brian David (FCC Director of Broadband Adoption), John Horrigan (FCC Director of Consumer Research), and Karen Archer Perry (Advisor, Adoption and Use National Broadband Plan Team). Trade associations addressing the Summit included USIIA CEO David McClure, US Telecom CEO Walter McCormick, and Fiber to the Home Council CEO Joe Savage. Other speakers represented national companies, including Bright House Networks, Dell, Intel, and Cisco Systems, among others.

US Telecom Association to Webcast "Broadband Adoption Summit"

The US Telecom Association has decided to webcast the Broadband Adoption Summit because of the importance of this conference.

At 9:05 on June 22nd – visit and you can watch the Summit live as it takes place.

The Summit’s agenda is at

Federal Communications Commission Cites Net Literacy in National Digital Broadband Plan Presented to Congress

FCC's National Broadband Plan

Based upon a forty page response to the Request for Comments issued by the FCC regarding broadband adoption that I wrote in behalf of the Net Literacy student board, the FCC contacted me in January and I spent almost an hour talking with several members of the FCC’s National Digital Broadband Plan task force. The three most important recommendations that Net Literacy made were that

– a national Digital Literacy Corps be created to increase digital inclusion and broadband adoption at the community level (
– K-12 students on free or assisted lunch programs receive priority receiving resources and subsidized computer hardware and broadband
– Executive Order 12999 be strengthen to give schools a “right of first refusal” on surplused Federal computers to increase the use of technology in the classrooms during a period where funding for education is being reduced across the country

Net Literacy’s student volunteers were gratified that the FCC recommended the creation of a Digital Literacy Corps and that K-12 students on free or assisted lunch programs receive priority in the National Broadband Plan. Our response to the FCC included over 100 comments and recommendations, most of which were incorporated in the National Broadband Plan, because in part, the comment process was designed to validate FCC’s own assumptions through the use of public feedback to their proposals. Net Literacy was gratified to see that our new recommendation “that ENL population groups (English as a New Language) be recognized as a population group with low broadband adoption” was included in the Plan. Our request regarding Executive Order 12999 was not included, but I have met with Senators Lugar’s and Bayh’s to discuss how the inclusion of this in new legislation will impact student success and increase high school graduation rates.

The National Broadband Plan specifically cited our Senior Connects program that has increased computer access to over 40,000 Americans and our Community Connects program that has increased computer access to over 110,000 Americans in over 500 community centers, senior centers, preschools, faith-based organizations, schools, libraries, and other nonprofits.

No plan can be perfect in all aspects for every constituency when addressing a major challenge that America faces – but the FCC has done an outstanding job in reaching out to Americans to solicit feedback and comment; and thoughtfully created a road map that will ensure Americans receive the richness and benefits provided by broadband.

As a youth-founded all volunteer nonprofit whose outcomes cost about 10% as much as some other larger digital inclusion solution providers, we commend the FCC in providing a strong ROI on the taxpayer dollars invested in this project.

Respectfully submitted,

Daniel Kent

Broadband for America, the US Internet Industry Association, and Net Literacy to hold "A Roadmap to Broadband Adoption" Conference on June 22nd in Washington DC

Broadband Adoption Summit
Broadband Adoption Summit

All Day “Roadmap to Broadband Adoption” Conference to be held in Washington DC on June 22nd

Broadband for America, Net Literacy and USIIA invite you to join in a special conference to help bring the rest of America online through programs to stimulate broadband adoption.

Aimed at broadband providers, community service agencies, municipal managers, consultants, educators and economic development leaders, this conference is a roadmap to use of federal stimulus grants to build effective and sustainable community programs for broadband adoption and use among the one-third of Americans not currently online. For more information, contact USIIA at or click here.

If you have applied for or received a broadband stimulus grant or loan, this is a must-attend event for your company!

Monday, June 21st

4:00 pm Joint meeting of the USIIA Board of Directors

5:30 pm Open Reception (Attendees and Speakers)

7:00 pm USIIA Board of Directions Dinner Invitation Only

Conference Agenda*

8:30 am Continental Breakfast


9:00 am Conference welcome by Dennis C. Hayes, Chairman, USIIA


9:05 am Introductory remarks by Harold Ford, Jr., Broadband For America Co-Chair


9:20am Introductory remarks by Don Kent, Net Literacy Chair


9:35am Keynote: A legislator’s view of the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act with respect to broadband adoption. What did Congress intend, and where do we go from here? Walter B. McCormick, Jr. (President & CEO of the US Telecom Association)


10:05 am Break


10:15 am “The Broadband Adoption Paradox” – An overview of the research indicating that broadband adoption rates remain a problem in the United States, and where efforts need to be made to correct this problem.

Panel Leader: John Horrigan, Consumer Research Director at the FCC (and formerly the Associate Director, Research, with the Pew Internet & American Life Project). Panelist: Rick Herrmann (Intel, Manager, US Public Sector Initiatives, State, Local, Education, and Advocacy) and Robert J Shapiro (Chairman of Sonecon).


11:00 am The Omnibus Broadband Initiative with Blair Levin. Now a Communications and Society Fellow at the Aspen Institute, Levin was formerly Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the Federal Communications Commission, and will share his insights into the nation’s broadband plans, policies and needs.


11:45 pm Lunch on your own

11:45 pm Speakers Luncheon – By Invitation Only


1:00 pm Conference welcome by Daniel Kent, Founder and Student President of Net Literacy


1:10 pm “Where Will We Get The Computers?” A panel discussion of how to create and implement an effective program for computer re-tasking and distribution.

Panel Leader: David McClure (USIIA President). Panelists: Don Kent (Net Literacy Chair) and Kerry Murray (Dell’s Senior Council for Global Public Policy).


1:40 pm “Outline for Community Adoption Programs” An outline of a sustainable broadband adoption program, necessary programs at the federal, state and local levels.

Panel Leader: Rick Jones (Cisco Systems, Director, Strategic Relations, US Public Sector). Panelists: Brian David (Federal Communications Commission Adoption and Use Director) and Mamie Bittner (Institute of Museum and Library Services Deputy Director)


2:30 pm Break


2:45 pm “Community-Based Adoption Models” A more specific discussion of the models for community programs, including where to conduct them, who should be targeted and how to manage the programs within various county/municipal/township organizations.

Panel Leader: Karen Archer Perry (Federal Communications Commission National Broadband Taskforce ). Panelist: Emy Tseng (National Telecommunications and Information Administration Program Officer, BTOP) and Elisabeth Stock (Computers For Youth President)


3:30 pm “A Student Empowered Digital Literacy Corps” A discussion of the Net Literacy model for development of a corps of high-school and college student volunteers to implement the community-based training programs.

Speaker: Daniel Kent (Net Literacy Founder and Student President)


4:00 pm “Promoting Broadband Adoption” A panel discussion of how to better market the value proposition for broadband within communities.

Panel Leader: Marva Johnson (Bright House Networks Networks Corporate Vice President Technology Policy & Industry Affairs). Panelist: Joe Savage (President, Fiber-to-the-Home Council), Laurie Lipper (Children’s Partnership Co-Founder and Co-President) and Narvarrow Wright (President of Maximum Solutions)


5:00 pm Reception

* Note: Conference agenda is subject to change.
** Accepted pending Agency approval

The Clowes Fund Supports Net Literacy for a Third and Fourth Year

Clowes Fund
Clowes Fund

The Clowes Fund awarded Net Literacy $17,500 for 2010 and 2011 to enable Net Literacy’s students volunteers to provide computers that will impact thousands of youths. The Clowes Fund’s support has provided thousands of computers for dozens of nonprofits, classrooms, and computer labs. The Clowes Fund’s focus has been on Net Literacy’s Computer Connects program – a program that has efficiently repurposed more than 10,000 computers during the last few years. More about how the Clowes Fund is making a difference can be learned by clicking here.

Net Literacy’s more than 2,000 student volunteers are very grateful for the Clowes Fund’s continuing support, now totaling almost $50,000.

For more information, please contact

Net Literacy Launches Financial Connects Program


In 2007, Net Literacy’s student board decided that “Net” financial literacy was becoming increasingly important with the proliferation of online banking and financial resources – and the increasing danger of identity theft. Also, the student board believed that students’ general lack of financial literacy caused them to be ill prepared for life. A series of informal focus groups comprised of high school students found most financial literacy websites to be “a yawn” and “boring.” Since increasing students’ life skills is one of Net Literacy’s core mission component; grants were proposed and a summer program was funded thanks to Lilly Endowment, the Old National Bank Foundation, and Bright House Networks. Net Literacy student volunteers reviewed more than 5,000 financial literacy websites and identified the 200 “best of class” videos, interactive games, and other content that made financial literacy relevant and interesting to post on the website.

Twenty student volunteers spent 40 hours during the summer at IUPUI working very quickly to learn how to storyboard, script, produce, and edit videos. Indianapolis Public Schools believed that this website would be an important resource and the district nominated students from Northwest High School, Arlington High School, Arsenal Tech High School, Broad Ripple High School, George Washington Community School, Howe Community High School, and John Marshall High School to learn about financial literacy and produce 20 videos that mixed fact and fun together.

Net Literacy Chief Technology Officer Brian Kelley (Purdue University) and Student President Daniel Kent (Haverford College) built the website and used php to create the dynamic interface to showcase the 200 “Best of Web” financial literacy videos, interactive games, and content. Phase I of the website is at

Chairman of the House Education Committee Greg Porter visited the students as they were taping the videos during the summer program, and explains why the Indiana General Assembly passed financial literacy legislation in 2009.

A press conference was held at the Indiana Department of Education’s offices, and also, Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett praised Net Literacy for this service learning project.

While this was a step in the right direction, Net Literacy’s student board believed that students could learn about financial literacy and in a compelling manner, create their own videos and interactive web based games to both engage and teach students about financial literacy. Net Literacy applied for and was successful in obtaining a $98,000 grant from State Farm. Read more by clicking on the tab “Financial Connects Contest” on this website.

“State Farm supports service-learning because it combines service to the community with classroom curriculum in a hands-on approach to mastering subject material while fostering civic responsibility,” said State Farm Community Specialist Ed Perez. “The State Farm Youth Advisory Board is a prime example of State Farm’s commitment to education, our community and our youth.”

Visit for more information about the different projects being funded and about the Youth Advisory Board.

Net Literacy’s student volunteers and student board of directors thanks State Farm Youth Advisory Board and State Farm for their trust, support, and advocacy. Learn more about Net Literacy by visiting

The Indiana Department of Education is providing support to Net Literacy during Phase II of this project – but Net Literacy is solely responsible for the content and site. Additional information about the Indiana Department of Education’s Financial Literacy Standards is at

Wireless Communications Association Spotlights Net Literacy


The Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI – spotlights Net Literacy as one of their 15 Cooperating Events and Supported Organizations, along with organizations including the Yankee Group, IEEE 802, IPv6 Forum, and the Wireless Communications Alliance.

WCAI Member Spotlight

Net Literacy Works with WCAI Members to Increase Broadband Adoption
The digital divide is expensive! It diminishes the quality of people’s lives, reduces their competitiveness and life options, and closes them off from a world of information, entertainment, and communications. The WCAI and its members are working together to make a difference while increasing broadband adoption in America.

Net Literacy ( is a 501(c)(3) organization where high school and college students do all the volunteering and whose board of directors is 50% comprised of students. Net Literacy empowers youth to increase computer availability and Internet literacy focusing on underserved youth, families, and seniors citizens. It has increased computer access to over 130,000 individuals in four states. Increasing broadband adoption is good public policy, and US Senators Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar Co-Chair Net Literacy’s Honorary Board of Directors. The Honorary Board includes Lt. Governor Skillman, Congressmen, and Mayors. Net Literacy has been recognized by our nation’s leadership, from President Clinton in a NYC ceremony to President Bush in a White House ceremony.

The company’s initiatives are divided into five major programs:

1. Senior Connects Program – This program promotes senior citizen computer and Internet literacy by supplying computers and training materials; or by building public computer labs and teaching senior citizens (and especially those seniors that are mobility impaired or lack reliable transportation) computer and Internet skills. Senior Connects ( has provided many residents with their first access to public computer labs within their own facilities. The students do all of the installation, computer and software set-up and training – while the management of the facilities must agree to install and maintain Internet access for its residents.

2. Safe Connects Program – With Internet predators and chat room bullying, finding effective ways to educate children about Internet safety has become a critical issue and this Net Literacy program has established a “student-teaching-students/parents” model program for school systems throughout America. The program includes PSAs, 25 minute video presentations, and student presentations to other students. The program was jointly announced by the Indiana Department of Education and Net Literacy. More information about Safe Connects is available at

3. Community Connects Program – Computer Connects is another Net Literacy program that has built hundreds of computer labs to increase computer access to the underserved. Community Connects ( provides a computer or computer lab to HUD and Section 8 apartments with 50 or more dwelling units, community centers, faith-based organizations, nonprofits, public libraries, and schools.

4. Computer Connects – Every Saturday, many schools gather to work together to repurpose thousands of computers in support of the Community Connects and Senior Connects programs. During weekdays, high schools and colleges also repurpose computers providing thousands of computers for schools. Schools use the computers to build computer labs, place computers in the classrooms, and provide computers to families not having a computer at their home. Student volunteers dispose of unusable computers in an EPA compliant manner, preventing computers and monitors from being delivered to landfills. Learn more by visiting

5. Financial Connects – Financial literacy is a required life skill, and America’s access to debt and credit is increasingly migrating to the Internet. Financial literacy provides students information that ranges from online banking to avoiding identify theft, and from how to find online scholarships and grants to how to save $100,000 – or many of $100,000s. A financial literacy portal containing a list of the 200 “best of class” online interactive financial games, videos, and calculators were aggregated after an exhaustive search of more than 5,000 financial literacy websites. The website will be launch in February at

Net Literacy’s programs are independently beginning to be developed by students from New York to California and around the world ( The US Internet Industry Association recently submitted a Filing to the FCC naming Net Literacy’s model as the preferred approach to reducing the digital divide in the United States. Net Literacy was selected by the European Union Study on Digital Inclusion as one of the 91 most promising good practice initiatives based upon an investigation of 32 countries including the EU Member States, the United States, Norway, Iceland, Canada, and India. Microsoft’s publication Innovating for inclusion: A Digital Inclusion guide for those leading the way, cites Net Literacy as one of the best of class digital inclusions examples. The US Broadband Coalition cited Net Literacy and its model several times as examples in its “Adoption and Usage Report” that was prepared for the FCC and has been featured in ads by Broadband For America, an organization co-chaired by Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell and former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.

Net Literacy’s content and programs are available at no cost to all WCAI members.

Net Literacy Wins a $97,900 Grant to Launch a National Financial Literacy Website

On February 22nd, Net Literacy ( will hold a press conference to announce the details of a $97,900 grant awarded to the nonprofit to build a financial literacy website that includes videos and interactive games created by middle school, high school and college students. Most of the grant’s funds will be used to compensate middle school, high school, and college developers for creative and engaging videos and interactive games teaching financial literacy that are chosen for use on the website.

Financial literacy and Internet financial literacy creates a value proposition that increases broadband adoption.

Details will be made available on February 22nd. For additional information, please contact

Broadband for America Blog About Net Literacy

Net Literacy is a member of Broadband for America and today, the following blog was posted here.

Broadband for America

Net Literacy Works to Bring the Internet to Everyone

While the FCC has been working on a national broadband plan for Congress, much of the focus has rightly been on how best to make high-speed Internet access and adoption universal. When most people think about broadband access, they probably imagine the cables and construction tools behind broadband deployment. However, at Net Literacy, we focus on another area of the national broadband foundation that is equally important: providing computers for the public and teaching people how to safely navigate the web.

The digital divide can hit both children and seniors; families who cannot afford a computer at home, or the broadband services that power them, risk denying their children access to the same learning resources of their classmates. Likewise, seniors who have not made the jump across the digital divide are missing out on access to medical services, the convenience and privacy of online shopping and the opportunity to telework when physical restrictions may otherwise keep them out of the office. And everyone else in between is increasingly finding that most job listings are online.

That’s why our team of student youth volunteers work with our adult staff to increase computer access by creating public computer labs where we can teach basic computer and Internet skills to the community and educate both kids and parents about online safety. In 2003, we began our Senior Connects program, which helps bridge the digital divide by having students teach senior citizens computer skills on a one-to-one basis. The program has quickly spread across the state of Indiana. In addition, we publish many of our other materials online where anyone can use them.

Getting broadband access to everyone in America is only half the challenge. The high-speed Internet adoption process also requires the computer training and knowledge to safely and smartly navigate the web whether you’re a grade school student or well into your retirement. Net Literacy is a BFA member for more information about them visit