Colin Rhinesmith and Susan Kennedy at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society have been looking at the Impacts of COVID-19 on Digital Equity Ecosystems. They surveyed people in the field of digital inclusion to see what was happening and what would be helpful in the future.
What are the people who are working on digital inclusion experiencing…
- Digital inclusion coalitions established before the pandemic have responded to COVID-19 by focusing their efforts on information and resource sharing, networking, data collection, raising awareness about digital inequality, and developing new tactics to promote digital equity.
- The pandemic has introduced several new challenges for digital inclusion coalitions and has magnified a number of existing challenges.
- Digital inclusion coalitions are finding ways to creatively solve problems to address their communities’ digital needs.
- Cities, counties, states, and national organizations have also played key roles in supporting local digital equity ecosystems.
What would help make inclusion easier…
- Make broadband affordable for low-income communities of color.
- Support second chances for economic success through digital literacy programs.
- Ensure care workers receive training and support to help promote digital and racial equity.
- Make federal funding opportunities available for digital inclusion organizations.