Internet connectivity varies widely across Philadelphia neighborhoods. Areas with limited digital access are concentrated in neighborhoods with lower median incomes and high rates of poverty.
Broadband internet access is an important social determinant of health that shapes opportunities for socioeconomic security such as education and employment. It is also a critical determinant of health-related opportunities like accessing health information and patient portals, finding and engaging with providers, and receiving care through telehealth services.
Ongoing Efforts in the Philadelphia Community
In April 2020, the City of Philadelphia launched the PHLConnectED initiative, providing free internet and devices to eligible pre-K-12 households. The program has enabled over 17,500 internet connections. To continue expanding digital access across Philadelphia, the City partnered with Wilco Electronic Systems to conduct the Philadelphia Household Internet Assessment survey to understand how many Philadelphians lack reliable internet access, as well as barriers to access. Responses to the survey will help measure the progress of current programs and will help the City create policies and programs to support digital equity.
The Critical Path Learning Center at Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers provides training related to digital literacy, health information, employment readiness, GED support, and Adult Basic Education. Digital skills and education training emphasize various learning pathways including pathways to employment, higher education, vocational training program, or improving health care literacy.
Efforts listed here may be independent of Accelerate Health Equity. Check back to learn about a broader list of health equity efforts.