CLEVELAND - The city of Cleveland is seeking a proposal that helps give Clevelanders without a broadband connection access to the internet and fix the digital divide. The lack of internet access was brought to light during the pandemic. Cleveland received $512 million as a part of the American Relief Fund and Recovery Act and set 20 million aside to help fix the digital divide. Currently, 30% of Clevelanders do not have any internet access. Last year without a proposed plan, the city set aside $20 million to address the problem.
The then Mayoral candidate Justin Bibb was critical of the move, asking why the city would set the money aside when there was no plan in place for the funds. A year later, Mayor Justin Bibb can now decide how those $20 million will be spent.
The city released a statement talking about the importance of internet access.
“Internet access is not a luxury—it is a necessity,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “But too many Clevelanders lack the support they need to effectively engage online.”
“Almost thirty percent of residents don’t have internet services of any kind—and almost twenty percent only have internet through their phone,” Mayor Bibb added. “We’re committed to making targeted investments to close this digital divide and make internet access more affordable and accessible.”
This is a phase of Mayor Bibb's Recuse and Transformation Plan. You can see that plan here.
If you or anyone you know would like to submit a request, you can do so here. Responses are due August 8, 2022.
The City of Cleveland wants to sign and start the plan in September.
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