WASHINGTON, April 8, 2010 – SCORE, a corps of executives providing counseling to small businesses, has partnered with a handful of large firms to donate $1.1 million to help small firms better use broadband technologies. The group was formed in response to the National Broadband Plan recently released by the Federal Communications Commission.
The consortium will offer free broadband-related trainings, tools and resources to small businesses. Nearly 75 percent of small firms have not adopted broadband technologies, often because they lack expertise, according to SCORE.
SCORE’s 364 chapters across the United States will use these new resources to help boost digital literacy, web skills and e-commerce capabilities.
Vice President and General Manager David Gurle of Skype for Business, one of the consortium leaders, said his firm is involved to help small firms better utilize broadband connectivity to lower costs and reach new markets in the United States and abroad.
“More than 35 percent of our users say they are using Skype for business purposes,” Gurle said. “We believe that Skype is an essential tool for helping businesses to save time, save money and stay ahead in today’s global economy.”
Other consortium founders are AT&T, Best Buy, Cisco Systems, Constant Contact, Google, Hewlett Packard, Intuit, Microsoft and Time Warner Cable Business Class. Small business partners are DRT Strategies and Engage.