REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Bridging the Digital Divide
Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 3:00 pm
RIHousing seeks proposals from eligible applicants to propose innovative and long-term sustainable projects to increase internet access for low- and moderate-income households. High-speed internet is a necessity for employment, education, and day-to-day tasks, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote work and school. However, many low- and moderate-income households cannot access high-speed internet at home.
RIHousing is seeking proposals for expanding and providing free or low-cost internet access for low- and-moderate income Rhode Islanders.
There are a number of existing initiatives that connect low-income households with lower-cost internet access, such as Verizon's Lifeline Program, and Cox's Connect2Complete program. Some schools have also provided students with temporary solutions for internet access, such as mobile hotspots.
While there are a number of initiatives to help bridge the digital divide, there are still many residents who cannot afford adequate and long-term internet access.
Partnerships, pilot projects, out of the box thinking, and replication of successful projects from across the country are strongly encouraged.
Examples of such projects include ONE Neighborhood Builders' partnership with OSHEAN to provide free public WiFi in Olneyville through a “community mesh network”; Younity and PCs for People's work to provide low-cost development wide broadband; Housing Authority of Los Angeles's partnership with Starry, an internet start-up, to provide low-cost internet access; and DigitalC's pilot project, Connect the Unconnected, with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority
Non-profit and for-profit organizations, public housing authorities, municipalities, faith-based organizations, and community housing development organizations are eligible to apply.
FUNDING AVAILABLE AND GRANT TERMS
A total of $450,000 is available in funding. The maximum award per grant is $75,000. The grant term is one year.
Proposals are due by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Proposals must be submitted via email to email@example.com in Adobe PDF format or Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel).
No proposals, including electronic submissions, will be accepted after 3:00 PM on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.
Answered questions will also be posted on www.rihousing.com/rfps-rfqs/.
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