Verizon and edX Partner To Accelerate Skill Building for In-Demand Tech Careers

Verizon announced the launch of a new online education portal with edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU) to help upskill and reskill Americans for today’s fastest-growing jobs. As recent research reveals, one-third of workers don’t have the foundational digital skills necessary to enter today’s jobs. Verizon Skill Forward, originally launched in 2020, will leverage Verizon’s new strategic partnership with edX to offer tuition-free, technical and professional pathways across in-demand industry sectors, with Verizon covering the cost to learners. With no prior experience or college degree required, participants can register for Verizon Skill Forward to access self-paced, expert-led online courses designed by leading universities and industry experts in edX’s partner network for 12 months at no cost, including dedicated courses in Spanish. Participants will be able to access curated lists of more than 250 courses spanning 84 unique professional certificate programs that they can take on their own time and are designed to help them gain the skills necessary to pursue high-growth jobs across the in-demand areas of artificial intelligence, business, coding, communication, data, finance, IT and more.

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VA, VHA, Verizon partner to increase rural veterans’ telehealth access

To help conquer the digital divide preventing rural veterans from accessing the range of health and wellness benefits they are eligible for, the U.S. The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering new access to telehealth and virtual care options. Working with the Veterans Health Administration’s National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation, the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System and Verizon Public Sector, the VA will be providing broadband connectivity directly to veterans living in remote areas nationwide.

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The ACP High-Cost Benefit Isn’t Going to Break the ACP Bank

In the bi-partisan 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Congress decided to provide a larger Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit in high-cost areas—up to $75/month, compared to the standard $30/month benefit. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) quietly announced that service providers could start filing applications on January 17, 2024, to become eligible to receive this larger benefit. This new benefit is unlikely, however, to significantly increase ACP outlays in the coming year because it only is available in limited areas, where there are few consumers, and few service providers may choose to participate.

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Columbus commits $15 million to improve internet access, digital skills in Franklin County

Columbus is putting $15 million of American Rescue Plan Act federal pandemic relief funds toward closing the digital divide in the city and Franklin County, local leaders announced Thursday. The money will fund the Digital Equity Action Agenda, laid out by the more than 40-member Franklin County Digital Equity Coalition last fall. The plan focuses on connectivity, device access, digital skills and outreach.

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What’s New in Digital Equity: Delaware May Become First Fully Connected State

According to officials with the state of Delaware, the state is on track to become the first fully connected state in the nation. This claim was made at an event during which Gov. John Carney and representatives of leading service providers like Comcast and Verizon joined together with the Communication Workers of America to celebrate the state’s progress in closing the digital divide.

Progress over the last 12 months made by the state and Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom includes making high-speed Internet available for the first time to 5,859 homes and businesses in the state — primarily in rural areas. There are still 372 locations that remain to be installed using American Rescue Plan Act funding. The remaining locations are slated to be reached over the next few months, which will make a total of $33 million in ARPA funding.

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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Wide Range of Community Advocates and Industry Applaud President Joe Biden’s Efforts to Extend the Affordable Connectivity Program

The White House is requesting additional funds to strengthen the Affordable Connectivity Program by extending free and discounted high-speed internet for eligible households through December 2024. Lowering costs – including internet costs – for American families is a key part of the President’s Bidenomics agenda. In the 21st century, affordable, reliable high-speed internet is a necessity for Americans to do their jobs, participate equally in school learning, access health care, and stay connected. But too often, high costs create a barrier and tens of millions of families, students, and seniors are left without access to high-speed internet, or have to sacrifice other necessities to pay their internet bill, exacerbating underlying inequities.

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Tribal Providers Say They Rely on ACP to Connect Communities

The Affordable Connectivity Program is essential for keeping people connected on Tribal lands, Tribal broadband providers said on Monday, Started in 2021 with $14 billion set aside by the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act, the ACP provides over 21 million Americans with a monthly internet subsidy – $30 for low-income families and $75 residents of Tribal lands. The program is set to run out of money in 2024. That would leave many Tribal residents faced with a voice between their internet bill and other essentials like food and electricity, said Linnea Jackson, the general manager of the Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District.

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Gain and Sustain: The Affordable Connectivity Program is Getting More People Online

There is a positive and significant correlation between broadband adoption growth and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) enrollment. As of December 2022, ACP was aiding one in every eight residential broadband connections in metro and urban counties in the United States, many of them new subscribers. New analysis of the 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) and ACP enrollment data points to important findings as Members of Congress consider additional funding for ACP.

First, places that have experienced strong broadband adoption growth in recent years generally have higher-than-expected rates of ACP enrollment, pointing to the likelihood that ACP has had an impact on that growth.

Second, places where ACP enrollment growth was strong throughout the 2022 calendar year tend to have above-average broadband subscription levels in 2022 data.

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Verizon completes high-speed internet expansion in Delaware six months ahead of schedule

In an effort to provide connectivity to families in need across the country, Verizon participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)1 a U.S. government program run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help low-income households pay for internet service. With ACP eligibility and the Verizon Forward Program, customers can get free home internet service – no hidden fees or annual contracts, and no equipment charges or data caps. You are eligible for ACP if you (or someone in your household) participate in certain government assistance programs.

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US Tech Future is a Verizon-led community-focused initiative working to engage the local community in a discussion about technology and how it can improve the lives of local residents for their benefit and the benefit of the community as a whole.

Our mission is to engage with citizens and community stakeholders in USA to provide information on how technology can work to have a dramatic impact on the way we work and live in our communities.