Charter Commits $1 Million to Closing Digital Divide

woman and child benefiting from digital education program
(Image credit: Charter Communications)

STAMFORD, Conn.—Charter Communications has announced it will commit $1 million towards Spectrum Digital Education in 2023, bringing its total investment in the multi-year initiative to $9 million. 

The funds support access to broadband education, training and technology. Nonprofit organizations that offer broadband education, training and technology can apply to be considered for the grant here. Applications are accepted from Thursday, June 1 at 9 AM EDT through Friday, June 23 at 5 PM EDT. Grant recipients will be announced in late summer, the operator said. 

Since the program’s 2017 launch, Charter has partnered with over 100 organizations, impacting more than 100,000 people across 22 states and Washington D.C. Grant recipients have used funding to expand digital skills training for seniors, install adaptable technology labs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and provide devices like tablets and laptops to those in need.

“Since the pandemic, many essential services related to employment, education and health care have moved online, leaving the unserved and underserved even further disconnected from the resources needed to successfully navigate today’s world,” said Rahman Khan, group vice president of community impact for Charter. “The funds granted through Spectrum Digital Education directly support organizations that aim to bridge the digital divide in communities where our customers live and work.”

Charter reported that the Spectrum Digital Education has been instrumental in helping individuals nationwide gain access to broadband technologies and resources. In 2022, Janet Kenty of Charlotte, NC was living at a homeless shelter with her three children when a pipe burst, destroying much of her family’s belongings, including her computer. Fortunately, local nonprofit and Spectrum Digital Education grant recipient E2D had an upcoming event to distribute 600 laptops to 300 families in need and were able to provide a replacement computer for Janet and her children. More about her story is available here.

Other Spectrum Digital Education grantees have used funding to provide digital skills training to members of their local communities. Buffalo, NY nonprofit and grant recipient VIA (Visually Impaired Advancement) was able to help a legally blind community member land a job at Explore & More Children’s Museum through the VIA Workforce Experience Training Program. 

Another grantee in Syracuse, InterFaith Works of Central New York, delivered in-home digital skills classes to a 70-year-old veteran with mobility issues, enabling him to effectively use his iPad to access telehealth services. In Oxnard, CA, LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. supported a mother who was having difficulty communicating with her son’s teacher by providing her with the training she needed to navigate the school’s digital tools.

To be eligible for a Spectrum Digital Education grant, organizations must serve communities within Charter’s 41-state service area and have 501C(3) tax-exempt status. More information on how to apply is available here.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.