Equitable Internet Initative
We address Internet access in Detroit through neighborhood-governed community wireless networks. Since 2015, Detroit has been one of the country’s worst connected cities. In a city with a median household income of $26,249, 38% of homes have no Internet connection, 63% of low income homes have no in-home broadband, and 70% of school-age children have no Internet access at home.
Through the Equitable Internet Initiative (EII), we are creating the world we want to see! It’s a world with a healthy digital ecosystem that allows our communities to fully realize their right to communicate, participate, and fully engage in all areas of society. Within our communities, we practice consent, prioritize privacy, and establish best practices to secure our networks and customer data.
PUTTING AN END TO THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
The Equitable Internet Initiative (EII) is a collaboration between the Detroit Community Technology Project and a network of community organizations including BLVD Harambee. The program’s mission is to ensure that more Detroit residents have the ability to leverage online access and digital technology for social and economic development.
We are on a mission to increasing internet access through the development of community wireless networks, which are built and maintained by our trained digital stewards. Our team of Digital Stewards performing an internet installation at Islandview’s tallest building and new Wi-Fi internet host D&D Storage.
HOW WE BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY
Our goal is two-fold. First, to provide high-speed internet to our local community in an attempt to empower and inform them. This will provide some of the tools needed to be involved with the redevelopment of our neighborhood and to ensure positive change that benefits the entire community. Second, to provide hands-on training to assist young people with developing a skill that could lead to possible employment or developing a business. We believe this project will assist BLVD Harambee by developing personal relationships over the course of the project.
HOW DO WE CREATE AN ACCESSABLE & RELIABLE INTERNET?
Our Digital Stewards help install and maintain EII’s high-speed network, which is wireless, point-to-point, and provides a 25mbps up and down speed. It utilizes donated connections from 123Net, an enterprise ISP, who beams a gigabit connection from the top of the Renaissance Center, the highest point in Detroit, to the three anchor organization partners: Grace in Action (Southwest), Church of the Messiah (Islandview), and North End Woodward Community Coalition (Highland Park). From there, the stewards create wireless distribution networks to community hubs, and then to residential homes.
A gigabit connection is beamed from the Renaissance Center, the highest building in Detroit, to the three anchor partners in Southwest, Highland Park, and Islandview.
This map shows the widespread boundariey that the BLVD Harambee EII network currently operates in.
Community Power Stations
At the solar charging stations residents are able to charge their devices, connect to the internet via a wifi hotspot, and access a local intranet where residents can communicate with one another and share resources, even during power outages.
Tech Workshops are BACK!! Classes are for community members that need guidance navigating through their digital devices. If you or a loved one would like to get your/their smart phone/device better please join us. Classes are every 3rd Thursday. Click here to enroll.
Volunteers are always needed at our workshops. If you know your way around digital land please consider being a volunteer. Volunteers are needed to assist with 1 on 1 device navigation and instruction. It is a fun and rewarding way of giving back to your community. Click HERE to register.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS!
Thanks to you, we raised enough funds to upgrade and beautify the current Community Power Stations that we have, as well as commemorate 10 years of Digital Stewardship. Your generous donations are currently being used to:
Place benches, tables, and shades at the two solar-powered, wifi-enabled device charging stations in Islandview
Support labor costs of outfitting and dressing the stations
Place additional signage around the stations directing residents and providing suggested uses
Purchase a 10-year celebration plaque
Purchase garbage and recycling bins
The Equitable Internet Initiative is a collaboration with Detroit Community Technology Project and 3 organizations in Detroit — Grace in Action in Southwest, Church of the Messiah in Islandview, and the North End Woodward Community Coalition (NEWCC) in the North End and Highland Park.
For more information about EII please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. or call (313) 751-7704
visit the EII website @ https://www.blvdcommunitynet.org/