NEW YORK, December 16, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Thousands of Boston the elderly participated today in a remote resource fair – organized by Aging connected, an initiative of AARP Technological Services for Seniors (OATS) – to learn how to connect to the Internet. Today’s event, hosted with support from Comcast, provided a platform for seniors to hear directly from experts on low-cost internet programs, including Internet Essentials from Comcast; government benefit programs, including Emergency broadband service (EBB) and the new one Affordable connectivity program; and free courses to learn how to use a computer safely, taught by AARP Senior Planet.
According to a study carried out by the Aging Connected initiative, more than 80% of Boston residents aged 18 to 64 have wired broadband at home, while only 53.6% of Boston residents aged 65 and over do – resulting in a significant access gap and underscoring the opportunity we must seize to close it.
Last month, President Biden enacted a bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes $ 65 billion to improve high-speed Internet access and affordability, and to increase the number of Americans eligible for discounted Internet service. The Infrastructure Bill introduces a permanent version of the temporary EBB, called the Affordable Connectivity Program. Aging Connected will focus its efforts over the coming months on empowering older people with the information, resources and support systems needed to connect to the internet.
“We are delighted to have so many people aged Boston join us for today’s remote resource fair. It is clear from today’s participation and engagement that Boston older people want to know more about using the internet and how to get online ”, noted Amanda gimble, director of Connected Aging. “Too many old people in Boston, and across the country, do not have access to an affordable high-speed internet connection, and Aging Connected is on a mission to bridge the connectivity gap that currently exists. We look forward to working with our local community partners to ensure that older people have the skills and resources to engage in the digital world. “
“The internet has become such a central part of our society, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is no reason that the elderly should be left behind,” noted Fall Kamber, founder and executive director of the AARP OATS. “Connecting seniors to the Internet is at the heart of what we do at OATS, and it was wonderful to see so many seniors attending today’s event to learn more about the services and the courses available to make broadband service affordable and affordable. a reality. The bottom line is that access to the Internet will enable so many seniors to participate better in everyday life. We have before us an incredible opportunity to bring more seniors online, and OATS is up to this challenge.
“Older people, especially those living in underserved communities, are too often left out of the internet access conversation and lack the tools to learn and understand how to use the internet.” said dr. Nicol Turner Lee, Senior Researcher in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and Moderator of Today’s Remote Resources Fair. “Events like today’s Remote Resource Fair are so important in breaking down psychological and societal barriers that still exist and show seniors how easy and cost-effective it is to connect. It’s wonderful to be part of a program that is fully committed to digital equity and working with seniors to get online. “
“Tech Goes Home was delighted to participate in today’s Remote Resources Fair and to highlight the importance of bridging the digital divide facing older people in the world. Greater Boston Area, ” noted Dan Noyes, co-CEO, Tech Goes Home, a non-profit organization located in Boston. “Access to the Internet can really change lives, and our mission for over two decades now has been to help Bostonians connect at home and provide them with the digital tools they need. Fighting for digital equity has never been more important, and we look forward to working with local partners to help seniors connect online. “
“We are delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with OATs through this incredible and timely event for seniors,” said Steve hackley, Senior Vice President, Community Connections, Comcast. Comcast launched Internet Essentials ten years ago because we recognized that having a home Internet connection would open up a world of expanded possibilities for all Americans. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of connectivity around the world. digital today, and we work tirelessly with our partners and the federal government to help ensure that every senior can fully participate in the digital world Internet Essentials, Comcast’s comprehensive broadband adoption program , is uniquely positioned to support the elderly by offering fixed and consistent prices, dedicated customer support and access to digital skills training. “
In addition to learning more about the connection, the Remote Resources Lounge will provide information on a contest where 15 seniors will receive a Chromebook. Participants, or trusted friends on their behalf, have up to December 30 at 11:59 p.m. EST, 2021, to participate, and the winners will be notified at the end of January 2022.
In January 2021, the OATS and the Humana Foundation published a report, “Aging Connected: Exposing the Hidden Connectivity Crisis for Seniors“, which revealed that 22 million seniors in the United States – representing 42 percent of the national population over 65 – did not have broadband access at home.
AARP’s Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) helps seniors learn to use and benefit from technology to transform their lives and communities. Through its flagship program, Senior Planet, OATS works closely with seniors to create extraordinary experiences in person and online. The mission of OATS is “to harness the power of technology to change the way we age”. OATS is a charitable affiliate of AARP. To find out more, visit www.avoine.org or follow @OlderAdultsTech on social media.
Contact: Dean Pearce, [email protected]
SOURCE AARP Seniors Technology Services