Human Rights Measure

Human Rights
Human Rights

Chicago Launches Groundbreaking Initiative to Bridge Digital Divide, Providing Free High-Speed Internet Access to Over 100,000 Chicago Public School Students

Date Enacted: June 2020
Country: United States
Region: North America

“‘Chicago Connected’ . . . will provide free high-speed internet service to approximately 100,000 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students in their households.” The program “will provide high-speed internet for households for four years by directly paying for internet service for families that are most in need, using six priority indicators and data from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to identify eligible households for the initiative. Priority indicators include students eligible for free lunch, students identified as having special needs, students experiencing homelessness and students living in communities with the highest hardship based on the UIC hardship index.” The program also “prioritiz[es] families in need on the city’s South and West Sides.” This effort to be “[e]xpanding access to CPS households who need it the most represents the first phase of a larger effort by the City of Chicago to expand internet access more broadly. The City is evaluating additional ways to improve internet infrastructure investments in communities in need beyond CPS families and is dedicated to further exploring how to broaden ‘Chicago Connected’ to connect more families citywide.”