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FCC challenges developers, offers $100,000 cash

The FCC and the Knight Foundation have teamed up to sponsor an app contest to challenge developers to come up with solutions for communities, in its Apps for Communities program:

Can a mobile app improve the quality of life for a farmer in America’s heartland? Can a web app help school children in Detroit,MI?

The Knight Foundation and the FCC challenge you to develop a software application (app) that delivers personalized, actionable information to people that are least likely to be online. Using hyper-local government and other public data you should develop an app that enables Americans to benefit from broadband communications — regardless of geography, race, economic status, disability, residence on Tribal land, or degree of digital or English literacy –by providing easy access to relevant content.

The Apps for Communities Challenge is an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (“Knight Foundation”) and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). The Challenge will offer up to $100,000 in prizes to winning application developers and is intended to bring together providers of public data, developers, and traditionally underserved populations through a national contest. The goals of the Challenge are to:

  • make local public information more personalized, usable, and accessible for all Americans;
  • promote broadband adoption, particularly among Americans who are less likely to be regular Internet users (including low-income, rural, seniors, people with disabilities and the low digital/English literacy communities); and
  • create better links between Americans and services provided by local, state, Tribal, and federal governments.

For example, you can create an app that gives consumers and small businesses valuable information about their communities in an easy to understand, mostly graphic way on their cell phones; an app that delivers contract and seasonal job post alerts in English and Spanish via text message; an app that connects people to health care in their communities via public transportation; or an app that makes it easy for people with limited digital or English proficiency to go through intro screens without extensive instructions or pressing many tiny keys.

The FCC seeks to promote broadband deployment and adoption for all Americans.  New applications can pull new users online, as well as increase the value of a broadband connection for existing users. READ MORE AT APPS FOR COMMUNITIES AND SIGN UP NOW

The Challenge Submission Period begins on April 14, 2011 and ends at 11:59 EDT July 11, 2011 (the “Challenge Submission Period”).  The Challenge Administrator’s computer, set to Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), is the official time-keeping device for this Challenge. Entries may be submitted beginning at 12:00 AM on April 14, 2011 and must be received by July 11, 2011 11:59 PM

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Jeneba “JJ Ghatt”,is editor at, an online hub where she helps social media butterfly who empowers digital entrepreneurs and professionals to create great things online at her online learning platform Digital Publishing Academy.  She is an editor of tech blog and founded the annual 200 Black Women to Follow On Twitter List. Read her bio, then get all of her online & digital biz startup advice and tools in one spot here!

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