Pandemic Highlights Critical Need for Information Access, Threatens to Widen the Digital Divide
Hollywall Development Company (HWDC), a subsidiary of Hollywall Entertainment, Inc. (HWAL), and Sology Solutions have entered into a strategic partnership to deliver broadband and other technologies to underserved communities in the United States. Projects are planned and are underway in locations including Alabama, New Jersey, Texas, and the District of Columbia. Hollywall and Sology, both minority business enterprises, share a mission of serving the communities most in need.
HWDC builds smart cities throughout the United States, with a clear mission and focus on closing the digital divide for the benefit of underserved communities. Hollywall has built a vast network of relationships with federal, state, and local government agencies; telecommunication, advertising, marketing, construction, and engineering firms; housing authorities; and financial institutions including partnerships with a national P3 Foundation and a preeminent global NYSE financial services firm.
Sology is a technology systems integrator with a breadth of smart-city expertise serving municipalities and the transportation industry. A long-standing Premiere Cisco Partner, Sology was invited to participate in Cisco’s exclusive Destination Partners initiative because of its ecosystem-driven business model, multi-level partnership approach, and record of operational excellence.
“As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘The time has come for an all-out war against poverty. The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed.’ Our nation remains in the midst of one of the greatest challenges of a generation including a critical COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest. Hollywall shares in Sology’s vision of serving the underserved,” said Darnell Sutton, president and CEO of Hollywall. “Sology has expertise in successfully delivering multiple smart applications that will help us expand our work. They are a force multiplier and well-positioned to assist Cisco in gaining traction in complex projects with multiple private and public partnerships such as ours.”
“Hollywall has demonstrated their commitment to community service quite remarkably during this current crisis, most notably by expanding much-needed broadband access and by Mr. Sutton’s participation in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Reopen DC Transportation and Infrastructure Committee,” said Ed Christmas, Sology’s founder and managing principal. “The current environment has highlighted the harsh realities of our country’s digital divide and may, in fact, widen the gap. I am excited to be a part of the Hollywall consortium and its vision for serving communities most in need.”
The negative effects of the digital divide disproportionately affect Americans with lower incomes, racial minorities, and rural residents. According to the Pew Research Center, 44% of households earning less than $30,000 per year and 37% of rural Americans do not have broadband at home. Thirty-nine percent of Hispanic households and 31% of black households lack home broadband, compared to 21% of white households. An April 2020 Pew Research Center survey found that 52% of low-income broadband users are especially worried about paying their internet bill over the next few months indicating that the digital divide may worsen due to the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn.
Widespread school and business closures due to COVID-19 have brought to light the fundamental need for broadband as students and remote employees rely on the internet for their education and livelihoods. Additionally, Americans who are quarantined at home or social-distancing need access to information for telemedicine, government safety alerts, job opportunities, and even access to food.
Fifty-three percent of Americans said that the internet has been essential during the current pandemic and another 34% said it has been important, according to an April 2020 Pew Research Center survey. Forty-percent of low-income parents of children in closed schools say that their children will have to use public WI-FI to finish their schoolwork because they do not have reliable internet access at home, compared to 13% of middle-income parents and six perfect of upper-income parents.
About Hollywall Development Company
Hollywall Development Company LLC, (HWC) is a subsidiary of Hollywall Entertainment Inc. [OTC: HWAL] , a minority-majority controlled and operated consortium enterprise company led by founder, president & CEO Darnell Sutton, an award-winning visionary, strategist, and entrepreneur. HWDC consists of seasoned corporate executives from major industries along with partnerships including investment banks, global capital funds, public financial and wealth management firms, construction and engineering companies, federal agencies, state and local governments, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and housing authorities.
HWDC is building, restoring and creating “smart” cities, communities, and networks throughout the United States. Areas of HWDC services, initiatives, and investments include 5G networks, IOT, smart city technologies, affordable housing, energy, schools and education, transportation, clean water, waste management, and the environment. Learn more at www.hollywall.com.
About Sology Solutions
Sology Solutions is an integrated technology solutions provider, digitizing spaces to make them intelligent and connected. Focusing on smart communities and transportation, Sology works with its technology partners to deliver networked integration that is scalable and future ready. Applications include smart streetlight control, digital kiosks, gunshot detection, video analytics, and intelligent traffic and notification systems. Demonstrating leadership in the demand for smarter and safer communities, Sology improves the security, operational efficiency, and situational awareness of communities by leveraging the network to connect devices, making them “smart” and even predictive. Sology is a Cisco Premier Certified Partner and a certified Minority Business Enterprise. Learn more at www.sologysolutions.com.