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Getting Residents Connected to Increase Opportunity and Enhance Quality of Life
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH - The Cuyahoga County Office of Innovation & Performance released a request for proposal (RFP) to solicit solutions and partnerships to expand affordable, high-speed broadband services to those lacking internet access.
Cuyahoga County is one of the worst connected communities in the U.S., with 19 percent of households in the County without any type of internet service, including mobile data plans. About 32 percent of households in the County do not have a broadband connection at home, and 69 percent of these households have annual incomes below $35,000.
Therefore, the County is looking for long-term solutions to bridge the digital divide in target communities based on the amount of coverage in specific census tracts.
Coverage has been divided into three separate tiers (see map below):
- Tier 1: Census tracts containing <60% coverage in households
- Tier 2: Census tracts containing between 60 and 80% coverage in households
- Tier 3: Census tracts containing between 60 and 80% coverage in households AND making above the Cuyahoga County median income of $50,366
Ready-to-deploy ideas or projects can 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 employing established or emerging technologies.
“Providing equal and affordable access to broadband is essential to promoting equal opportunity in business, education, employment, healthcare, and all other aspects of day-to-day-life,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “While we have been working to bridge the digital divide for nearly two years now by quickly getting computers into the hands of residents, this RFP helps ensure a more sustainable solution so that we can efficiently get those in need of access connected.”
The Office of Innovation & Performance will host a pre-proposal conference on July 27th at 1:30 p.m. Vendors will hear from Chief Innovation and Performance Officer Catherine Tkachyk about the project, be able to ask questions and connect with potential partners.
“As part of this RFP, we are encouraging respondents to consider how they can create partnerships that not only provide affordable, high speed internet access, but also encourage those unconnected to sign up for the service,” said Chief Innovation & Performance Officer Catherine Tkachyk. “This RFP is one part of a larger program to address all aspects of the digital divide in Cuyahoga County, to include access, devices and digital literacy.”
The RFP will be open until September 6 at 11:00 a.m. and can be found on the County website.