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January 30, 2024

KC Digital Drive – Digital Dignity and More Choices for Underserved Residents in Kansas City

  • , community impact

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Google Fiber partners with organizations working to make digital equity a reality in the communities we serve. KC Digital Drive was mobilized to combat the digital divide for underserved residents in Kansas City. Brynna Darley of KC Digital Drive shares the organization’s work towards the region’s digital transformation with an emphasis on digital choice and dignity, as well as support broadband connectivity and digital inclusion.


KC Digital Drive is an organization that focuses on civic engagement in digital inclusion and emerging technology. To do so, we offer several programs to help combat the digital divide in the bi-state Kansas City region. We leverage the talents and resources available to us in the surrounding community. Notably, the last two years of our collaboration with Google Fiber found us on the receiving end of 400 Chromecasts.

Wanting to make the best of this opportunity, Peter Smith, an AmeriCorps Vista member working with KC Digital Drive, got creative and developed a new educational workshop that illustrated the power of switching from cable TV to streaming services (like added flexibility and more money in your pocket each month). He developed a curriculum and connected with partner organizations to assess the demand for this new Cut the Cord (CTC) Workshop

Each one-hour session focuses on: 

  • Setting up and using Chromecast 

  • Navigating the streaming landscape of free and paid services 

  • Finding reliable home internet at speeds suitable for their streaming needs

Since introducing this curriculum in April of 2023, we’ve distributed more than 325 Chromecasts donated by GFiber, across 19 events with nine different partner organizations, including Phoenix Family, The Black Family Technology Awareness Association, and Jewish Family Services.

In October of last year, we integrated the workshops into our class schedule at the Digital Services and Support Center at the LAMP campus — a digital commons for training and support in Kansas City historic east side that serves low-income neighborhoods and residents.

One workshop attendee, Rodolfo ‘Rudy’ Mesa, is a perfect example of how transformative one device can be. Mesa is 82 years old, living in Kansas City but originally from Wyoming. 

“Living on a fixed income, cable is a cost just like anything else, like a cellphone,” he said. He learned about our Cut the Cord workshops through outreach from our Digital Skills Trainer, Carol Meyers. 

Mesa shared that being a nerdy type of guy, access to streaming content and entertainment with his new Chromecast allows him to explore interests of history, nature, civilization, different animals and people, and the planet and science. 

We have been so pleased to see the demand for these workshops grow as our partners and community engage with options that boost equity and understanding of the technology and digital skills that fuel such a big part of daily life. We know that cable subscriptions can be expensive, and we are delighted to see these free devices help hundreds of households save money each month. 

To learn more about Cut the Cord workshop and the digital inclusion ecosystem in Kansas City, subscribe to our Kansas City Regional Digital Inclusion Newsletter and visit us online at

Posted by Brynna Darley, State Digital Inclusion Coordinator

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