Friday, May 22, 2015 03:00 PM


Long before anyone in Raleigh connects to Google Fiber’s high-speed Internet service, the tech giant will be campaigning for hearts and minds.

Google on Thursday introduced a “digital inclusion” program meant to spread the benefits of Internet access and technology literacy.

The company will pay for two people to work toward those goals for a year at two local nonprofits. The fellows will team with the Triangle Literacy Council and the Kramden Institute to provide training and access to computers, possibly through a mobile computing lab.

“We care deeply about getting people online, and we have since we started,” said Andrew Bentley, manager for Google’s national digital inclusion program.

Google will have some competition from AT&T, which is already rolling out its own gigabit service. AT&T wired two community centers with free, speedy connections earlier this year and has accepted a Raleigh start-up into its business accelerator.

Google’s fellows will each receive a stipend of $33,000 per year and benefits. In all, there will be 16 fellowships spread nationally across the eight areas where the company is deploying Fiber.

They’ll be trying to address an issue that has seen more and more attention in recent years, including a prominent spot in the State ...

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