Blog October 5, 2020

Helping Bridge the Digital Divide for Older Adults in Maine

As the country has continued to address the COVID-19 pandemic, broadband connectivity and access to the technology and skills needed to use it have become even more critical.

Charter is committed to being part of a comprehensive solution to these problems. We continue to expand our network to increase access, including in rural areas, as well as offer an industry-leading low-cost broadband service to qualified low-income households. We are also committed to funding philanthropic efforts to increase adoption and access to technology, such as grants that provide computers, digital education classes, and technology labs for thousands across the country.

It is these philanthropic efforts that Charter recently highlighted in Maine where Senators Susan Collins and Angus King joined us for a virtual event to announce a $50,000 Spectrum Digital Education Grant for Maine’s National Digital Equity Center, a program of Axiom Education & Training Center. The program has engaged and trained digital literacy instructors to provide computer skills and digital literacy instruction to adult learners throughout Maine and helps seniors “age in place” by offering classes and workshops on how to use technology tools that will help them remain in their homes as they grow older.

“One of my priorities is helping seniors to remain in their homes and communities as long as they possibly can. This funding will help to improve their access to critical online services…and equally important it helps them maintain social interactions and connections with family members and friends.” – Senator Susan Collins

Program participants receive personalized support along a scaffolded learning path that leads to life-long learning and the skills and resources to continue growth along their individual trajectories. They also experience far-reaching meaningful impacts through use of internet resources, such as easier access to quality healthcare through telehealth.

 “Telehealth increased 90-fold during the pandemic. Imagine how important telehealth can be for a senior in a rural area…that’s where we get down to connectivity and the ability to use the technology. I want to thank Charter and Spectrum again for the contribution…this is going to make a big difference in Maine.” – Senator Angus King

Charter’s Spectrum Digital Education grant will allow for expansion of the program’s digital literacy services to disadvantaged seniors in rural areas of Maine, and we’re committed to funding philanthropic efforts to increase adoption and access to technology across our service area. This year, the Spectrum Digital Education Grant program will surpass its four-year commitment to award $6 million in cash and in-kind donations to support non-profit organizations educating their communities on the benefits of broadband and how to use it to improve their lives.