Five digital inclusion trends in the US

In honor of digital inclusion week, the NTIA has come up with five digital inclusion trends in the US. I’m going to borrow from the Benton Foundation summary to share them…

  1. Digital Inclusion Planning. More governments and coalitions are creating city-wide, regional and state-wide broadband and digital inclusion planning programs.  Many of these plans include dedicated staff, grant programs, and outcome-based measurement.
  2. Program Integration.  Federal agencies understand that broadband access and digital literacy are important aspects of their missions, so they are including broadband and digital inclusion as “eligible expenses” in government programs and funding streams.
  3. Library Modernization. Libraries are community hubs for digital access, research, and content creation. Partnering with libraries and other community-based nonprofits is a great way for digital inclusion coalitions to reach people where they live and work.
  4. Performance Measurement.  Part and parcel with the trend in structured planning, we also see a trend in measuring program performance through data collection and research. Measurement is important at the beginning of a program to assess gaps and needs and to size up assets and opportunities, but it is also essential as programs develop and change.
  5. Leveraging Assets.  Digital inclusion relies on community investment in broadband infrastructure.

We will be talking more about Digital Inclusion at the Blandin Conference coming up this week. I have been helping to organize a showcase of about 10 practitioners who will share the digital inclusion projects and tools they are using in their communities.

This entry was posted in Digital Divide by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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