Cuyahoga County Digital Access Data
- 52,958 (9.5%) households with no internet access of any kind
- 59,097 (10.6%) households with only a smartphone
- 33,829 (6.1%) households with no computer
Roughly 1-in-5 County households have, at best, access to a smartphone. This makes it a challenge for thousands of residents to participate in our modern digital economy. Cuyahoga County has committed to closing this digital divide through supporting access to affordable internet and devices, digital skills training, and other opportunities.
Cuyahoga County Digital Inclusion Initiatives:
The County was formally awarded $250,000 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to support marketing and outreach efforts related to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The money will be used to raise awareness and enrollment in the program, which has become a critical aspect of efforts to close the digital divide.
Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio invested $20 million into a partnership with nonprofit PCs for People to provide in-home, high-speed internet access to roughly 25,000 Cuyahoga County households in many of the County’s least connected communities. The cost of the service for a resident will be $15 a month. But those residents who qualify for ACP can have the cost of service fully covered through the monthly subsidy. This is a long-term sustainable strategy that will have a positive impact on a large percentage of residents currently unconnected.
Cuyahoga County entered into a contract with non-profit DigitalC to provide affordable, in-home, high-speed broadband services to residents in the Central neighborhood. The County contributed $330,000 to this effort, with additional investments from DigitalC and Cleveland Public Library bringing the total to over $600,000. The project connected 335 households to the network.
The County launched an Internet Service Speed Test and Survey in partnership with Measurement Lab, Marconi Society, and X-Lab at Penn State University. The results of this test and survey will provide data on internet access in Cuyahoga County and identify gaps in connectivity to better target investment in underserved communities. The survey is available through November 2021 and takes only a few minutes to complete.
The 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. 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.
The County contributed $150,000 to provide high-speed, low-cost internet access for 1,000 East Cleveland residents, in partnership with the state, PCs for People, University Hospitals, Microsoft, and GE Lighting, a Savant Company, with plans to expand coverage in the near future.
Submissions were due for a request for information (RFI) to solicit ideas for potential strategies and partnerships to expand affordable, high-speed broadband services to County residents.
County contributed $500,000 to the continuation of Academic Learning Pods, which are safe, socially-distanced places for students to participate in remote schooling with adult supervision for those unable to access a computer or internet at home.
The County, the Cleveland Foundation and T-Mobile created the Greater Cleveland Digital Equity Fund, which aims to strategically and efficiently address immediate and long-term needs surrounding broadband access, computing devices, digital literacy and technology support. Through the fund, the County and its partners provided up to 5,000 internet hotspots, two years’ worth of unlimited data, and up to 10,000 laptops to families with a K-12 student in the home.
The County, in partnership with OhioMeansJobs│Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, hosted the first Virtual Job Fair to connect job seekers with local employers. The County, PCs for People, and the Mandel Supporting Foundation at the Jewish Federation provided computers, hotspots, and three months of internet access for free for up to 1000 eligible job seekers. Additional Job Fairs were held throughout 2020 with over 630 participants in the job fairs finding employment as a result.
The County donated 300 hotspots to Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to distribute to students without internet access; we also put out calls to businesses to donate computers and other unused equipment.
The County partnered with non-profit DigitalC to provide Fairfax neighborhood with low-cost in-home internet access through installation of an antenna on top of the Juvenile Justice Center. As of December 2020, DigitalC has over 800 subscribers.
Do you or someone you know need a computer, internet access or digital literacy training?
Call the Digital Navigators at 216-307-6990. They are available to assist Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.