Newsmakers: Hennepin Co. Commissioner Kevin Anderson Talks Eliminating the Digital Divide
Hennepin Co. Commissioner Kevin Anderson (Dist. 7) says the County authorized up to $10 million in federal funding to help with broadband and connectivity.
“A lot of the people that I hear from are talking about the struggles they have with being connected, whether its affordability or accessibility,” said Anderson.
Anderson says spoken about the need for broadband services in rural parts of the county that need better access.
“In my district, we have some areas that are really looking at affordability. There are big parts of Hennepin County that don’t have internet access at all,” said Anderson. “It’s really building out that infrastructure and finding ways to partner with ISPs to deliver services to residents. It’s exciting to be in a position to do that.”
Through an initiative from 2020 called Connecting Hennepin, people will be able to learn from community organizations to become better connected. The initiative addresses three critical areas of the digital divide: devices, connectivity and digital literacy.
“I worked in IT for 20 years and I know whenever you get something new in somebody’s hands, they need to learn how to use it, especially if its something they are not familiar with,” said Anderson.
Anderson says the county will be moving quickly on turning this funding into action.
“We’re going to try to have a really fast start and get devices in people’s hands,” said Anderson. “We’ve been doing this since last year over the pandemic. We saw how important it was to reach people and see how they are connected.”
If you are interested in learning more, there’s a town hall coming up on August 18 at 6:30 p.m. over Zoom. There’s more information on the Facebook page.