Department of Innovation & Performance Issues RFI to Find Long-Term Solution to Lessening the Digital Divide

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Devyn Giannetti: (216) 225-9813;

Aim to Provide High-Quality Broadband Internet Across County for Those with Limited Access

- The Cuyahoga County Department of Innovation & Performance released a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit ideas for potential strategies and partnerships to expand affordable, high-speed broadband services to County residents.

The purpose for this RFI is to identify qualified vendors interested in engaging with Cuyahoga County to make high-quality internet access available in the County limits either individually, in partnership with other providers, or in partnership with the County.

“Sadly, Cuyahoga County is one of the worst connected communities in the U.S., with 19 percent of households not having any type of internet service,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “While we’ve been working to lessen the digital divide through partnerships with the Cleveland Foundation and PCs for People—we provided broadband access to over 3,000 homes through this initiative—this RFI allows us to work toward a more long-term solution that can reach more people and provide easier access for those who need it.”

Cuyahoga County is looking to identify ready-to-deploy ideas or projects that will provide County residents with an affordable, high-speed internet connection. These options may range from new products and pricing, new service options with discounted rates, free Wi-Fi solutions that residents can reach from their homes, or other innovative approaches utilizing established or emerging technologies. The County encourages responses to this RFI on an approach or collaboration that could contribute to increased economic opportunity and improved individual wellbeing for all County residents.

“The world and our county run through the internet, and therefore more equal and affordable access to broadband is essential to better leveling the playing field,” said Chief Innovation Officer Catherine Tkachyk. “Broadband access is key to education, job training, and even access to one’s own medical records, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to the responses to this RFI and the innovative ways we can get affordable access to our residents.”

The RFI is currently live, and all responses must be submitted by January 15th. To access the RFI, visit the Cuyahoga County Innovation and Performance website.