At least 17 million U.S. residents lack the basic Internet access necessary for remote work, online learning, and telemedicine. While ensuring greater connectivity has always been important, the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have turned a desire to deliver broadband to everyone into a critical priority for the nation. The goal of Project OVERCOME is to select, launch, and oversee multiple proof-of-concept efforts to deploy novel broadband technology solutions to both rural and urban underserved communities.

Project OVERCOME was conceived of and funded by the National Science Foundation. Schmidt Futures joined as a financial and strategic partner in March of 2021.

Read Report by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Report

“This isn’t just a place where people can connect to high-speed Internet or access technology, it’s a place where residents can come together, build trust, develop solutions to the problems most relevant to their lives, and work toward promoting the wellbeing of their community,” José “Moreno” Sánchez, Project Coordinator

Deployment Spotlight

Loíza, Puerto Rico

Kids PaintingLibraries Without Borders US (LWB US), in partnership with Link Puerto Rico (LinkPR), the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), and local leaders in Loíza, kicked off the much anticipated “De Puente a Puente” initiative in late October 2021. This grassroots community engagement and connectivity program will provide residents of La 23, Tocones/Colobó and Piñones with access to reliable, high-speed Internet via neighborhood connectivity hubs and wireless mesh networks installed at three community centers.

By installing off-the-shelf wireless hotspots, laptops, and other electronic devices, engaging in collaborative, community-led placemaking efforts, and providing residents with capacity-building activities and tools, LWB US quickly and effectively deployed a digital inclusion intervention that aligns with community needs and interests.

Read the full announcement

See all Project OVERCOME news announcements

Read about the lessons learned and discovered best practices by the Project OVERCOME teams in the Smart Community Sparks blog series.

Smart Community Sparks Blog Series

"Thank you for all the work you have done over the past nine years to help guide communities into the connected future." Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman, FCC

Watch the announcement press conference

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