University of Massachusetts–Lowell
The Lowell Internet, Networking and Knowledge project proposes to increase the adoption of broadband services by working with a diverse set of partners and using an inter-generational approach to bridging the digital divide. This initiative is designed to reach low-income and at-risk youth, the unemployed, residents without college degrees, and seniors. The project intends to build out 11 public computer centers to serve 6,650 new broadband users and add 7,500 additional broadband subscribers in the Lowell and Merrimack Valley, an area designated a “Renewal Community” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The technology training includes working with University of Massachusetts–Lowell students in computer centers to provide broadband-related training to vulnerable populations, including the nation’s second largest Cambodian community. The University’s Center for Family, Work and Community plans to measure the project’s impact by developing a survey tool for use at each outreach event, allowing comparisons of broadband awareness at the beginning and end of the project. Also, the University intends to work with Lowell’s broadband providers to obtain data on new subscribers.