The Bell Charitable Foundation has committed $1 million to create digital equity in the communities it serves via grants to organizations expanding broadband internet availability.
Specifically, the Bell Charitable Foundation will focus on making digital equity grants in the Midwest and Hawaii markets, where it also supports organizations that focus on Economic & Social Mobility, Technology, Environmental Sustainability, and Health & Wellbeing initiatives.
Christi Cornette, Chief Administrative Officer of altafiber and Bell Charitable Foundation Board Member, said increasing access to broadband connectivity is a way to maximize the impact of organizations that the Bell Charitable Foundation funds. “Broadband Internet is essential for individuals across all demographics to access education, employment, and healthcare opportunities,” Cornette said. “Creating digital equity is a natural focus area for the Bell Charitable Foundation and will benefit our current and future partner organizations and those they serve.” altafiber, which initially did business as Cincinnati Bell in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, launched the Bell Charitable Foundation in 2022. Since its inception, the Bell Charitable Foundation has provided over $400,000 in grants to 23 organizations.
Building out fiber-based broadband has been a focus for altafiber. The provider has invested $2 billion into expanding its fiber network across the Greater Cincinnati region and Dayton, as well as Hawaii, where it does business as Hawaiian Telcom.
Groups like 1N5 could directly benefit from the Bell Charitable Foundation’s investment.
Nancy Eigel-Miller, Founder of 1N5, said the Bell Charitable Foundation’s digital equity commitment will directly support her organization’s mission to promote mental health for students K-12 and in college. “Through a commitment to digital equity, altafiber enables all people to access the connectivity that is so important to our mental wellness,” said Eigel-Miller. “Whether it is through the accessibility of online tools to find a provider or resources, virtual training opportunities, or simply the ability to stay connected with friends, family, and mentors, increased connectivity in our communities will help 1N5 to impact the mental health of even more individuals across Greater Cincinnati and beyond.”