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.
Clinton County, Missouri
As communities of all sizes begin to expand broadband access to previously underserved or unserved populations successfully, it is imperative to enlighten users on how any technology, including the Internet, can be used for good or evil. The Project OVERCOME team in Clinton County worked with a journalism expert to deliver a media literacy training to OVERCOME participants and the entire county with the goal of diminishing the spread of false information. While a world of new horizons opens up, new users must be empowered to use their increased access to information sources and platforms to break silos, not entrench them further.
Read about the lessons learned and discovered best practices by the Project OVERCOME teams in the 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