Riverside Continues to Close the Digital Divide
By Mark Talbot, group president, Americas – Xerox Local Government
The city of Riverside, Calif. is an inspiration for us and its peers as it makes providing access to technology to all citizens a priority second to none.
Riverside was named this past June, Intelligent Community of the Year by the Intelligent Community Forum – the first U.S. city to receive this recognition in 10 years. The programs involved in the SmartRiverside’s Digital Inclusion Center contributed to the city’s recognition. The strategy is to use its citywide Wi-Fi service to provide free technology training, personal computers, software, wireless computer premise equipment, and broadband Internet service to all of the City’s more than 30,000 families earning less than $45,000 total income. The goal is to benefit 1,500 families every year.
This article in Government Technology details many of the successes of SmartRiverside, including:
- A gang intervention program that mentors kids, prepares them for work in business settings and provides certification for entry-level service technician jobs.
- A program to refurbish computers (200 a month) and train students, parents and other adults. At the end of the training, each family receives a free working PC with Microsoft Office, a Wi-Fi router and free wireless access. Two of the students who have completed this program currently work for Xerox.
- A free 1 Mbps free wireless service that has brought more than 5,400 low-income families onto the Internet since early 2010.
As the city’s IT provider, we’re looking forward to continuing to work with Riverside and CIO Steve Reneker on the journey to make intelligent technology available to all citizens.