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As state and local broadband leaders engage “covered populations,” as defined under the Digital Equity Act, AARP and ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative has been working in partnership over the past two years to deliver “Broadband for Beginners” workshops in states across the country that target individuals 60 years of age or older – and those who work with them.
Next month, on Dec 7 from 8:30 AM to 5 pm ET, AARP Maine and the ILSR team will wrap up the year with an in-person workshop in Bangor, Maine. The all-day event is designed to demystify broadband technology and help empower older adults to join the effort to expand digital equity, most especially those who have been reluctant or fearful to explore the opportunities broadband access offers.
There is still time to register here.
The agenda will serve up a veritable buffet of broadband topics and leave participants stuffed with confidence in how to advocate for their needs in an increasingly digital society.
“We are thrilled to be working with AARP in Maine,” said ILSR Community Broadband Networks Director Christopher Mitchell. “The state of Maine is making great strides on Internet access and we look forward to supporting that work with many of the people responsible for it.”
Inline image of older adult typing on laptop courtesy of StockVault, CC0 1.0 Universal
With the holiday season upon us, the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) Community Broadband Networks Initiative and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) are gearing up for the final Building for Digital Equity (#B4DE) event of the year and encouraging digital equity practitioners to save the date.
The popular (and free) virtual gathering will be held December 12, 2023 from 3 to 4:15 pm ET and will feature a holiday-inspired theme: Digital Equity Unwrapped: End of Year Reflections/The New Year Ahead.
You can register for the event now here.
Coming on the heels of our last B4DE event in October, which is still reverberating through digital inclusion circles across the nation, we are excited to follow up with a jolly and informative agenda that will cover:
- The latest on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
- Lightning Rounds on digital inclusion work with covered populations.
- Setting the table on forthcoming Digital Equity Act funding and how communities are preparing.
- Unpacking digital discrimination and its practical implications.
If you missed today’s Building for Digital Equity (#B4DE) livestream event – "Building Connected Communities: Sustaining the Momentum" – no sweat.
You can still see the entire program below. The latest installment of #B4DE was packed with practical information and inspiration on everything from the latest on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), outreach to veterans, telehealth and broadband adoption – mixed with on-the-ground intel from local communities pushing the digital equity movement forward.
Co-hosted by ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), the event was capped off by keynote speaker and emerging digital equity leader Joshua Edmonds, CEO of Digital C in Cleveland, who painted a powerful and expansive vision of digital equity work based on insights that have emerged from working in the trenches.
Lots happening for Digital Inclusion Week 2023, which kicks off this Monday. One free online event that will be of particular interest for digital equity advocates across the nation is the next National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) and Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) Building for Digital Equity (#B4DE) Livestream.
The popular virtual gathering will be held this Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 12 noon to 1:15 pm ET and will focus on the DIW-inspired theme: “Building Connected Communities: Sustaining Momentum.”
Attendees can still register here.
Building on the success of our previous events, we are excited to present another engaging agenda packed with practical insights and information digital inclusion practitioners can use while working in the trenches to bridge America’s yawning digital divide.
The agenda includes:
With Digital Inclusion Week (DIW) less than a month away, ILSR and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) are gearing up for the next Building for Digital Equity (#B4DE) event and encouraging digital equity practitioners to save the date.
The popular virtual gathering will be held Oct. 3 from 12 noon to 1:15 pm ET and will focus on the DIW-inspired theme: “Building Connected Communities: Sustaining Momentum.” The event is free and open for registration here.
Building on the success of our previous events, we are excited to present a fun and informative agenda that will cover:
- On-going efforts to save the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and lessons-learned on boosting ACP enrollment
- Outreach to covered populations
- The power of ethical storytelling in digital inclusion work
- How telehealth can be a key driver of broadband adoption
- The nexus between infrastructure and digital equity
The keynote speaker for the event will be Joshua Edmonds, CEO of Digital C, the Cleveland-based nonprofit technology social enterprise. Edmonds will focus on the link between building appropriately-motivated physical networks and how infrastructure and digital equity work go hand-in-hand.
With an historic effort underway to expand high-speed Internet availability to every corner of the country, one vital aspect of the nationwide initiative is to ensure that communities that have been left behind get access to the knowledge and digital skills necessary to fully participate in a modern Inter(net) connected world.
It necessitates the creation of an army of digital navigators to work on the front-lines with the right tools as their disposal. To that end, Arizona State University (ASU) and the Marconi Society announced the creation of a first-of-its-kind Digital Inclusion Leadership Certificate program that aims to provide “a foundational understanding of the technology, policy and digital inclusion essentials needed to create true digital equity.”
University and Marconi Society officials say the Digital Inclusion Leadership Certificate is the nation’s first professional certificate in the field as the program is geared to educate individuals and teams at all levels of government, as well as nonprofits and anchor institutions such as libraries, housing authorities, and healthcare organizations who work with historically marginalized populations that either lack access to broadband or are unsure of how to take advantage of the opportunities high-speed Internet connectivity delivers.
“This certificate is for anyone who wants more background on broadband technologies and digital inclusion, including those who will be drafting plans and managing programs under new federal funding,” ASU’s website further elaborates.
The American Association for Public Broadband is calling for industry help in creating a handbook that helps communities examine their option to create and maintain public broadband networks.
The handbook will be a “hands-on, high-level resource for moving through the entire process including getting started, building community support, technology and business case analysis, role of partners and finance,” said Gigi Sohn, executive director at AAPB.
Sohn asked for leaders for public broadband networks, including both government-owned and cooperatives to complete a public broadband inventory. AAPB will sort through the submissions and select folks to interview for more details.
The inventory asks for network elements, public benefits of the network, what financing has been used to build and operate the network, among other questions. Respondents can indicate whether the data in the survey is available to be publicly released or not.
The AAPB will consider how it can fully capture value from this inventory and may decide to include all or much of it online in a database.
Responses are required by Friday, September 8, 2023.
Vendors, consultants, and other leaders in public broadband are invited to share the survey with those that are eligible to respond.
Just as the BEAD program becomes a major driving force in the ongoing broadband-ification of America, hundreds of local network builders, operators, thought-leaders, and policy-makers will descend on Denver, Colorado for Mountain Connect 2023 early next month.
Themed this year as “Collaborate, Integrate, Innovate,” the agenda is packed with plenty of BEAD-centered panels but also offers a buffet of other focused forums that will cover emerging technologies, local network case studies, and larger community development concerns.
Spots for the conference, which will be held August 7-9 at the Denver Sheraton, are filling up fast. But, would-be attendees can still register here.
As with the previous eight annual Mountain Connect conferences, this year’s three-day conference in the Mile High City will bring together a veritable who’s-who of people working in the trenches of a national effort to bring high-speed Internet access to the tens of millions unserved and underserved households and businesses across the U.S.
Among the conference participants will be representatives from 15 state broadband offices, which accounts for more than $15 of the $42.5 billion in BEAD funds that will be allocated by states in the form of competitive state grants.
Join us Wednesday, July 12th at 4pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show.
Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guests Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting) and Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) to talk about all the recent broadband news that's fit to print – and probably a few things not fit for print but worth discussing anyways.
The interactive livestream is always chock full of humorous observations and insightful broadband commentary, including previous episodes that remain relevant as states and communities are putting together their digital equity plans and gearing up for federal BEAD funds to build new broadband networks.
Back in December Christopher recalled how things went when Uncle Sam doled out federal infrastructure dollars in 2009. There's lots of excitement (and rightly so) around the recent announcement of how much each state and U.S. territory will get from the $42.5 billion BEAD program. However, this short clip (below) from Episode 60 is a good reminder that this time around we ought to take what the big telecom and cable companies say with a huge grain of salt so we don’t blow this once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand broadband access only to have taxpayer watchdog groups railing years from now about wasteful government spending because we took the word of monopoly incumbents at face value.
Lots of food-for-thought, with seasoned broadband bits, are served up on our Connect This! Show.
Apropos to yesterday’s BEAD allocation announcement, here’s a sample from Episode 72.
In that episode, ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative Director Christopher Mitchell and the livestream crew discuss whether federal policy disincentivizes new small broadband providers by setting up barriers to the historic amount of grant funds being made available, favoring the big incumbent providers and their entrenched regional monopolies.
You can watch the full episode below:
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback and ideas for the show.