Discovery Communications was one of a number of companies and nonprofits that have joined in a broadband adoption and digital literacy effort, Connect to Compete, launched Wednesday with the help of the Pew Charitable Trust and officially applauded by Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski.
As part of the effort, Best Buy will use its 20,000 Geek Squad agents, beginning in 20 cities, to provide basic digital literacy training; Microsoft will build an online training center; and Discovery Education will provide online educational content.
"Educating and making a difference has been at the core of Discovery's mission of satisfying curiosity since day one," said Discovery Communications president David Zaslav in a statement. "Discovery Communications and our Discovery Education division are proud to honor that commitment through our partnership with FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and other like-minded organizations as part of the Connect to Compete initiative. We look forward to contributing broadband video and digital educational content to this effort and to working with partner organizations to build additional resources to empower parents and caregivers with content and infrastructure to support our children's academic and social achievements."
Genachowski said the Connect to Compete program will be a nonprofit initiative he describes as a "new portal to host jobs and educational content, develop a database with digital literacy classes, and help [to]train digital literacy instructors across the country." He said the initiative would "help meet the vital national challenge of connecting all Americans to broadband Internet and its benefits."
The effort will be based out of One Economy, with advisory board members including representatives from Computers for Youth, Connected Nation, the Broadband Opportunity Coalition, Common Sense Media, and representatives of a number of private sector companies. Those private sector partners, in addition to Discovery, Microsoft and Best Buy, include monster.com and Career Builder.