IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Effort unveiled for new Web site for the poor

Low-income Americans would have free and easy access to vital information under an effort  to create a bilingual Web site.
/ Source: Reuters

Low-income Americans would have free and easy access to vital information under an effort announced Thursday to create a bilingual Web site.

One Economy, a non-profit group that uses technology to upgrade the lives of the poor, said it aims to raise $20 million to start the project, Public Internet Channel.

The site would provide information about such basics as public safety, emergency services, education, health care and jobs.

U.S. Senators John McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Barack Obama, an Illinois Democrat, serve as honorary co-chairs of the non-profit group and hailed the initiative.

"It will ensure that all Americans have the same easy access to information and resources they need to prosper in our global economy without getting lost in the World Wide Web," McCain said in a statement.

Said Obama: "The Public Internet Channel can do for accessing social services what Yahoo! has done for accessing entertainment or what Craigslist has done for accessing local goods for sale."

The non-profit group said it plans to launch prototypes in several cities in the next year, beginning with Baltimore.

As part of its programs, the group also runs a Web site called the Beehive that offers tips for managing money and starting a business.  It has also helped bring broadband Internet access into the homes of 200,000 poor people.

Much of the information the new site will provide is now available elsewhere.  The new initiative would allow Internet users to obtain it quickly on one site in English and Spanish.

One Economy said it hopes to obtain funding from corporations and philanthropic organizations.