More than half the households in five neighborhoods in south St. Petersburg lacked connections to high-speed broadband internet as recently as 2019. That puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to education, employment and healthcare, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the City Health Dashboard.
“One of my dreams, and COVID proved it, is that internet is a utility like water, that everybody should have,” said Alison Barlow, executive director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District and co-lead of the Digital Inclusion Working Group. “How we get to that point and make it affordable is a challenge.”
There is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but the Digital Inclusion Working Group, co-led by Barlow and Veatrice Farrell, executive director of Deuces Live, have several ideas. One of them is a center to assist people in signing up for a new federal program that provides financial help to households struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic.
To learn more about this collaboration read the recent St. Pete Catalyst Article.
Last week St. Pete Innovation District hosted its 6th State of Science and Innovation. This event highlights innovators who are doing creative, thought-provoking, and impactful work. This is always a favorite event of the year and once again the event didn't disappoint.
The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida name Alison Barlow - Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District - as one of their 2024 Woman of Distinction.
For entrepreneurs, this network of support organizations can be challenging to navigate. The hope is that this map helps direct entrepreneurs to the best possible resources.