Mobile CITIZENship Contest Offers Broadband to Non-profits

Marlon Millner

Mobile Citizen, a provider of mobile Internet for education and nonprofits; KEYSPOT, a citywide initiative that brings free Internet access, computer classes and training to all Philadelphia neighborhoods; Wilco Electronic Systems, Inc., a Philadelphia-based private cable operator; and Global Citizen, an organization dedicated to promoting civic engagement and responsibility, launched MOBILE CITIZENship, a contest designed to promote sustainable, active citizenship beyond the recent, 18th Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service held Jan. 21.

Contest winners will receive mobile Internet service and equipment from Mobile Citizen, giving them access to the Internet on an easy to use, lightning fast 4G connection. Philadelphia nonprofits with a demonstrated plan for civic engagement and active citizenship are encouraged to nominate their organizations by March 8, 2013. All eligible non-profit organizations within Mobile Citizen’s coverage area* are encouraged to apply at Winners will be notified by April 1.

“Our mission is to help people work and learn better and we do that by making a mission-critical tool, mobile Internet access, affordable,” says Michelle Warner, Director of Mobile Citizen. “Today we are delighted to make our mobile Internet service even more affordable – free, for nonprofits truly making a difference in the areas important to Global Citizen’s mission – community building, volunteer engagement, digital literacy, and active citizenship.“

Mobile Citizen was the mobile Internet provider of the 2013 King Day of Service signature project -- the training of over 150 Philadelphia Housing Authority residents received free netbook computers. The PHA residents were trained through a special program through KEYSPOT: Powered by the Freedom Rings Partnership. Through KEYSPOT, Mobile Citizen has partnered with Wilco Electronic Systems, Inc., a Philadelphia-based private cable company, to provide a low-cost, high-speed Internet option to Philadelphia, including thousands in the PHA specific program. By distributing netbooks and modems on MLK Day, Mobile Citizen, Wilco, KEYSPOT and Global Citizen seek to raise awareness about empowerment through digital connection.

KEYSPOT is a citywide collaborative to bridge the digital divide in Philadelphia. It is facilitated by social service, education and civic organizations and led by Drexel University, the Urban Affairs Coalition and the City of Philadelphia. Launched two years ago on Martin Luther King Day, KEYSPOT sites have served more than 300,000 visitors, and the PHA program has trained more than 4,200 residents and distributed more than 3,900 netbook computers.