FCC Announces 'Get Connected' Campaign for Older Adults

Speaking at a Project GOAL (Getting Older Adults on Line) breakfast, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn announced the creation of a National Digital Literacy Corps initiative to help bring our seniors online.

The 'Get Connected' program will serve as a capstone for Project GOAL, which aims to promote broadband adoption by older adults, raise awareness about technology challenges, and serve as an advocate for these issues.

The program will address serious gaps in the digital literacy of older adults in the US. According to a survey by the CEA, adults over the age of 65 are 21 percent less likely to own a home computer than those under the age of 30. Additionally, an NTIA report found that only 50 percent of people aged 55 or older use broadband in the home, compared to a national average of 68 percent.

The National Digital Literacy Corps would reach out to older adults who live in areas of low connectivity and don't have the skills to connect to the web, helping to close the digital divide. According to Clyburn:

"Many rural areas of the country continue to be unserved, and seniors citizens are more likely than the average U.S. resident to live in a rural part of the Country. Thus, we must target accordingly, using awareness campaigns and friending/buddying opportunities that pair citizens young & old to increase adoption/awareness and lower the barriers - both mental and physical."

GOAL receives its funding from the FCC, Microsoft, and other telecommunication leaders, and aims to deploy Digital Literacy Corps programs through partnerships with local institutions.

The plan would help increase broadband literacy and reach out to seniors on the other side of the digital divide, long-term goals supported by the CWA.

Project GOAL (Getting Older Adults on Line): Get Connected Campaign Launch Breakfast & All About the Value