Our Mission

Connecting the Heartland is a multi-pronged, multi-state initiative to boost internet availability, speeds and adoption rates across America’s heartland.

Our goal is to ensure families in the heartland have the high-speed, affordable internet service necessary for full participation in life in the digital age. Closing the digital divide will take robust, comprehensive solutions that address all components of the disconnect.

Theory of Change

Internet access is at the root of equity and opportunity in the heartland

When people have high-speed internet access, doors open to them - to everything from healthcare, employment, education and so much more. To grow and strengthen heartland communities, it’s vital to start with a reliable, fast internet connection.

How We Do It

We take ACTION, focusing on the ground efforts and policy solutions that will ensure results in equitable access to the level of service required for full participation in the digital age. That means emphasizing affordability and adoption alongside expanding infrastructure.

Maximize Participation in Low-Cost / High-Speed Programs

Run awareness campaigns in partnership with community organizations to maximize participation in low-cost internet service programs with an initial focus on the new Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB).

Engage and Advocate for State Policy Implementation

Monitor legislative opportunities and threats across the heartland that may impact our underlying goal of making sure every household and business has high-speed, affordable internet service.

Build Connections between the Heartland and the Beltway

Host the Connecting the Heartland Workshop Series, which brings together decision- makers and influencers from the Beltway with the problem-solvers and doers in the heartland - improving coordination and maximizing the impact of new federal funding programs.

Help Communities Move from Planning to Implementation

Provide local governments and partners with technical expertise for grant funding requests, feasibility studies and help cover the gap between available state funding for local initiatives that directly address internet access for education, healthcare and economic development purposes.

Put Boots on the Ground to Increase High-Speed Internet Adoption

In partnership with Lead for America and Land O’Lakes, we support the American Connection Corps to help address the digital divide. The American Connection Corps will empower a new generation of young leaders to help bring connectivity to their hometowns.

Where We Work

We are starting with four states in the Heartland: Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio and Tennessee.

We will continue to expand to additional states in the future – working to provide high-speed internet access to all Heartland communities.

Join Us

We are always looking to expand our network of partners to collaborate on our initiatives and workshops.

Get in Touch