Senior Citizens

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.
While a lot of attention has been focused on the infrastructure grants awarded by The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), the biggest impact that BTOP grants could be in broadband adoption. There are a number of very exciting projects in this field, and several different models to increase digital literacy and interest in broadband.
We have just released the 2010 edition of the Benefits of Broadband--a compilation of fact sheets that details the benefits of affordable, high-speed Internet for all Americans.
FCC National Broadband Plan Executive Director Blair Levin recently spoke at the National Press Club on the need for expanded funding for programs aimed at getting more older Americans online.
On Tuesday the FCC released its National Broadband Plan Consumer Survey which found that affordability and lack of computer literacy are the main reasons why 93 million Americans are not connected to high-speed Internet in their homes. The survey results bolstered existing statistics that 80 million adults currently lack high-speed Internet. Most cited affordability, digital literacy, and relevance as the main barriers to adoption.
At Tuesday's hearing on Why Broadband Matters before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, one theme that arose again and again was the power of high speed Internet to help less-advantaged people across the U.S. Of course, the problem is that people who could benefit the most from this technology -- such as low-income, rural, and elderly Americans -- are also the least likely to have access.
Elderly and chronically ill patients are turning to telehealth home-monitoring services to reduce office and hospital visits, curb costs and possibly lead to better patient outcomes.
101-year-old Allan Miller of Kingston, Jamaica, uses his computer daily to read and write e-mails, play games, and to talk to his daughter in the United States via instant messaging.
High speed internet holds a lot of promise for improving the lives of the deaf and hard of hearing. Videophone service allows them to converse without relying on traditional methods like teletypewriters and texting services that are slow and awkward.
From Michigan comes a report about the doors opened by high-speed Internet access. The Lansing State Journal reports on a class aimed at increasing Internet skills for seniors, a demographic at danger of being left on the wrong side of the digital divide.