Last week we invited you to save the date for a two-hour livestream event Building for Digital Equity: Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding that the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is co-organizing with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA).
We told you this event – which will be held on Wednesday, March 16th, from 2-4pm ET – was not going to be your average conference or webinar with 45-minute panels that make your derriere doze off or your eyes glaze over like a stale donut.
We are aiming for a fast-paced, fun, and interactive virtual gathering of network builders, local stakeholders, policy advocates, and funding experts from across the country that will feature a mix of short presentations, a sprinkling of trivia and prizes, and panels with Q & A’s that will be accessible on a variety of popular social media platforms.
Well, the event is coming together, promising to offer practical insights on how communities can seize this unprecedented moment to pursue community-driven broadband solutions.
You can register for the event here.
Here’s a sneak peek at the line-up:
- It will be emceed by our own Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative, and NDIA’s Training and Community Engagement Manager, Pamela Rosales.
- David Keyes, the Digital Equity Manager for the City of Seattle and the first recipient of NDIA’s Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award, will share a talk that was very popular at Net Inclusion on how to talk with government officials.
- The main event is a 50-minute block with multiple presentations on coalition building that will cover what regional governments and coalitions are doing to leverage the flood of federal funds for broadband in the American Rescue Plan, the Consolidated Appropriation Act, the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- Shannon Millsaps, Director of Operations at Thrive, will do a lightning round on strategies for working regionally and NDIA's Munirih Jester will highlight some related takeaways from NDIA’s Digital Inclusion Guidebook.
- The coalition building block will end with a panel featuring ConnectMaine Authority Executive Director Peggy Schaffer and Founder/Executive Director of the National Digital Equity Center Susan Corbett who will talk about how successful broadband coalitions were formed in Maine.
- After that, Abi Waldrupe of NDIA will discuss Digital Navigators, and more importantly, what is not a Digital Navigator.
- Another block will zero in on key details about the buckets of federal funds available to states and local communities, centered around the five things every local community should know about how these funds can be used most effectively.
- Dustin Loup and ILSR’s Data and GIS specialist Christine Parker will preview recent developments around maps, setting the table for a future discussion in greater depth.
Fun trivia questions will be asked of attendees throughout the event and we will close out with a trivia wrap-up and prize give away before the grand finale that will allow attendees to pepper Chris and Angela Siefer with lingering questions or thoughts.
Next week we will unveil the full schedule. In the meantime, you can register for the event here.