indynet (also known as the Marion County Dedicated eLearning Network Pilot)

August 2022

In response to gaps in access to high-speed internet made worse by the pandemic, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and other organizations partnered with the City of Indianapolis to establish the Indianapolis eLearning Fund in April 2020. Out of the Fund came indynet, a $1.8 million pilot program launched in April 2021 to provide free, in-home internet connectivity for K-12 and college students from low-income households to support eLearning.

Providing free and convenient access to high-speed internet is only part of the solution in solving the digital divide for the thousands of Indianapolis K-12 students who do not have the technology at home. Communities must also implement robust outreach efforts to build credibility in the programs providing the access, and they must educate those with limited internet experience about how to use the technology.

This report illustrates these lessons and offers a roadmap to cities and towns across the U.S. undertaking similar efforts to close the digital divide in urban and rural communities.