Connect Philly: Got a cellphone, find free or cheap Internet nearby

It’s no secret that Philly has a deep digital divide, and closing that chasm is increasingly a focus of civic-minded tech and digital literacy initiatives.

Our comrades at Technically Philly* announced  their contribution to the fight on Monday with the launch of Connect Philly, a new tool that helps people locate free or cheap Internet access and computer training.

Here’s how it works: Send an address via SMS message to (215) 240-7296, and get a message back with the nearest locations for Free Library Hot Spots, KEYSPOT centers, and retail establishments that offer Internet service. [For a full explanation, head over to Technically Philly.]

Handy, right?

The idea: to use the technology already in people’s pockets to help them cross the digital divide. The big hope: to build digital skills and help connect folks to educational and employment opportunities, city services, and community information.

Connect Philly will officially launch in early April, but meanwhile you try Connect Philly out. There are more than 200 locations already on the Connect Philly map, but Technically Philly hopes that number will grow as more people, organizations, and businesses add their information.

*PlanPhilly is proud to be among Technically Philly’s partners for this project – along with J-Lab, Knight Foundation, and KEYSPOT. Technically Media, the parent company of Technically Philly, is also a consultant to PlanPhilly. 

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