Digital equity experts talk about how to sustain the push to improve

Government Technology posts about what’s happening a Net Inclusion, the annual conference for digital equity folks, hosted by NDIA (National Digital Inclusion Alliance) – they are the folks who have successfully pushed for better understanding of broadband adoption as well as access for years. This article focused on how we can capitalize on the funding that’s coming through federal channels (BEAD and IIJA) even after those funds are discontinued…

Many communities have digital inclusion ecosystems and have for a good while. The work that comes next for digital inclusion is strengthening them. The NDIA also offers guidance on what makes a digital inclusion ecosystem strong.
This includes having programs and policies that address all of the aspects for the digital divide, including affordable and subsidized broadband as well as device ownership. There should also be multilingual digital literacy and skills training available, tech support and digital navigators to guide residents in all of the above. Finally, there needs to be collaboration on digital inclusion work between policymakers, advocates, social service groups, community leaders and, really, anyone else in a given community that holds public sway.
Another absolutely key thing for continuing digital inclusion work long term is data. And not data that shows people why the Internet is important — that question has been answered — but rather data about the specifics of digital equity programs in a community. To keep this work strong and thriving past its moment, Siefer said practitioners need data around how digital equity programs work, why they work, and who is benefiting from them.
That last question is perhaps the most crucial, as its answer is likely to lead to continued interest and funding. Who benefits from digital inclusion work? The answer is most — if not all — of the nation’s biggest industries: health care, education, telecommunications and even retail.

This entry was posted in Conferences, Digital Divide, Funding and tagged , by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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