Prince William County’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT) recently announced additional investments in its Technology Inclusion Initiative (TII), which seeks to deliver affordable, universal broadband access County-wide, and to expand technology literacy among County residents and businesses.
“Prince William County is moving forward with a sense of urgency to address broadband access, affordability and technology literacy issues that are critical to the prosperity and well-being of our residents and businesses,” said Rob Mancini, Director of the Department of Information Technology and CIO for Prince William County. “The investments we’re making today in our Technology Inclusion Initiative will enable the County to fully deliver on the promise of universal broadband as funding becomes available.”
DoIT launched the Prince William Technology Inclusion Initiative (TII) in the last half of 2020 to help resolve chronic issues of technology access, affordability and literacy across the County. As a specialized program, TII serves under DOIT as a broadband strategist, advocate, sponsor, and domain representative for Prince William County. The program is a multi-year effort that leverages partnerships, grants, local businesses, utility companies, County funding and ingenuity to achieve its goals.
Last year, DoIT and Prince William County Public Schools applied for and received a $1.2 Million grant through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to buy 4,061 Wi-fi hotspot devices for students in Title 1 County schools without reliable internet service. This year, the TII program is investing in three initiatives to further enhance the County’s ability to secure grants and other special funding that may become available.
- Technology Literacy – Prince William County will offer a series of free technology education courses for County residents and businesses beginning in November 2021. The goal is to enhance technology adoption and fluency through a deliberate strategy of addressing all impediments to technology inclusion in Prince William County.
- County-wide Broadband Survey – This initiative will identify all of the precise locations in Prince William County that are unserved, or underserved for broadband. This data will enable the County to develop and execute a comprehensive plan for addressing broadband service gaps. The survey is scheduled to be completed by November 30, 2021.
- Broadband Partnerships – DoIT has engaged a broadband partnership broker, local utility companies, and an internet service provider to deliver broadband services to areas in Prince William County that are unserved by service providers, and to help enhance areas that are underserved as well. These partnerships will help identify the best grant and investment opportunities, and assist the County government in solving all obstacles that might inhibit technology inclusion.
More information on the TII program and these initiatives is available in a newly released whitepaper, Technology Inclusion in Prince William County.