Digital Inclusion Practitioners Head to San Antonio for Net Inclusion 2023

Net Inclusion 2023 logo

Joining nearly a thousand digital inclusion practitioners, policymakers, advocates, and researchers from across the nation, ILSR’s entire Community Broadband Networks (CBN) team will be in San Antonio, Texas at the end of this month for Net Inclusion 2023.


The three-day event – organized by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) – will run from Feb. 28 to March 2 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas and is expected to draw close to 1,000 local, regional, and national leaders on the frontlines of digital equity work in the U.S.


Attendees will feast on a buffet of broadband and digital inclusion subjects and activities with everything from breakout sessions and community site tours to lightning round discussions covering the hottest and most interesting challenges digital equity advocates face in bridging the nation’s digital divide. (Don’t miss the Wednesday night event detailed below that we are hosting!)

San Antonio at night


The NDIA-hosted event is organized to “support the local digital inclusion community there and to help practitioners nationwide learn from their leadership and ecosystem.”


You can find the schedule here.


For those who can’t attend in person, NDIA will provide a free livestream of Net Inclusion 2023’s main plenary sessions and breakout sessions via NDIA’s YouTubeTwitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. ILSR is also happy to announce it will be hosting the livestream on our YouTubeLinkedIn, and Twitter accounts. All livestreamed content will also be available for free after the conference on YouTube, which you can find on the NDIA YouTube channel here


Community Broadband Network Team in Full Effect


It won’t be hard to find us there, as this year, the entire CBN team (Christopher Mitchell, DeAnne Cuellar, Emma Gautier, Sean Gonsalves, Kimberly Harris, Ry Marcattilio, and Christine Parker) will be hosting a three-hour break-out session on the first day, Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 1:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. That session will focus on “Building Subsidized & Affordable Broadband in Rural, Tribal, and Urban Settings.”


As our Community Outreach Lead and San Antonio native DeAnne Cuellar explains:


We will lead small group discussions on common challenges and solutions for improved infrastructure, which will be a show-and-tell with conduit, Internet access devices, and fiber, to give participants a better understanding of the relevant technologies. We want to help demystify the challenges of building new needed networks, and want folks to leave with much more confidence working in this field, as well as a better understanding of where to go for additional information and guidance.



The workshop will end with an Ask Us Anything Q&A round up.


And that’s not all.


Prior to the workshop, DeAnne Cuellar, our Community Broadband Outreach Lead, will take part in a panel discussion on “Engaging Community Leadership in Digital Equity Work: Building from the Ground Up, Not from the Outside In” on Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.


That panel will explore why it’s critical to maintain community-led digital equity work and how to strengthen grassroots efforts. Those interested in attending can reserve their spot here.


The following morning, CBN Research Associate Emma Gautier will lead a lightning round discussion on “Provider Transparency: Why is it important for digital equity?” on Wednesday, March 1 from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. Emma will quickly cover why transparency is essential to ensuring digital equity. Interested attendees can add this to their event schedule here


Later that afternoon, CBN’s GIS & Data Visualization Specialist Christine Parker will take part in a panel discussion from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., called “Advancing Digital Inclusion Data Quality, Tools, and Applications,” which will focus on the proliferation of new digital inclusion data and tools as well as provide insights on the most (and least) promising new digital inclusion data resources. Attendees can add this panel to their schedule here.


On the third and final day, CBN’s newest member Kimberly Harris will be on a “Teaching Tech: Training Models” panel on Thursday, March 2 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. She will be sharing some of her many experiences in this field, particularly around the importance of being as flexible and unique as the communities digital inclusion practitioners serve. She will also offer tips on best practices and responsive methods of instruction and training. Attendees interested in that panel can add it to their event schedule here.


Extracurricular Fun 


But not all of the action will be found inside workshops and breakout sessions. The CBN team will also have a meet-and-greet table, covered with lots of useful resources right outside the main ballroom, where we are setting up a table top studio to record lots of short interviews with attendees about what they are doing in the world of digital equity for a new podcast series called Building for Digital Equity.



Lastly, the CBN crew will host a special Mixer at The Friendly Spot Icehouse in San Antonio on Wednesday, March 1 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. We will record a live episode of Connect This! during that event.


From the cozy confines of The Friendly Spot, CBN Director Christopher Mitchell will kick off a live-streaming and mingle event with the Connect This! show and the entire CBN team. Also joining the show will be Angela Siefer, Executive Director of NDIA and Kim McKinley, Chief Marketing Officer of UTOPIA Fiber and a longtime Connect This! guest. 


Guests are invited to one of San Antonio’s favorite spots to “eat, grab a drink, be friendly." Watch the show, or, just hang out at the event, sponsored by our good friends from Voqal.


Hope to see you there!