A couple weeks ago, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) celebrated Digital Inclusion Week under the theme of “building connected communities.” Since connecting communities has always been at the heart of US Ignite’s effort to accelerate the smart cities movement, we’re proud to spotlight some of our communities’ most impressive digital inclusion news and updates shared during Digital Inclusion Week 2023.

Surge Link Ribbon Connecting Ceremony
Surge Link Launch Syracuse, NY

Syracuse, NY – Launch of Surge Link

The City of Syracuse, Community Broadband Network (CBN), and US Ignite announced the launch of Surge Link™, a high-speed Internet connectivity program. Surge Link aims to connect 2,500 underserved Syracuse families to high-speed, affordable broadband. Federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds and Federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) subsidies make the no-cost service possible.

Guilford County, NC – Borderless Classroom Pilot Gains New Broadband Partner

US Ignite assisted Guilford County Schools (GCS) and the Technology and Data Institute (TDI) in developing a pilot program to bring free broadband and easy access to vital educational resources to students in three schools in High Point, NC. Last week, Lumos announced it was selected as the broadband partner to deliver the high-speed broadband Internet service for the pilot through June 2026.

Yonkers, New York: Y-Zone Celebrates Additional Investment for Internet Access

The Y-Zone celebrated additional funding obtained from the Community Development Block Grant Cares Act Initiative. The initial funding from US Ignite’s Project OVERCOME, set up the Y-Zone’s no-cost Internet service to connect previously underserved homes to a new CBRS network with broadband routers. With the additional funding, the Y-Zone will continue to provide Yonkers residents with free or low-cost computers, tech skills training, and Internet access.

Through our work with 50 communities nationwide, we advance digital equity by advising municipal leaders and their partners on connectivity pilots using partnerships and a people-centric approach. We share the best practices and lessons learned from our work on our website through playbooks and policy papers. These help to ensure all communities can replicate successes and avoid pitfalls. Earlier this year, we released a booklet on the success of our OVERCOME communities alongside a report evaluating the social impact of that program and the Internet’s impact on people’s lives. 

The US Ignite Communities team continues to work with our partners to ensure even the most vulnerable residents can access a secure and reliable broadband connection so that no one gets left behind. Reach out to [email protected] if you are interested in working with us!