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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.
With billions of federal dollars on the horizon to support broadband infrastructure and digital inclusion, it is essential that states, local officials, service providers, and other organizations work effectively with Tribes so that those living on Tribal lands get connected.
Last week, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) hosted Dr. Traci L. Morris, Executive Director of the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) at Arizona State University for a webinar titled “Indigenous Digital Sovereignty: From the Digital Divide to Digital Equity,” which situated Tribal broadband work and Tribal sovereignty in the context of recent federal funding opportunities like BEAD.
“Sovereignty and self-determination are critical aspects of broadband and telecommunications investments in Tribal communities. Putting in a network is an act of self-determination – it is nation-building. It is exercising sovereignty in the active sense. As the United States makes historic investments [in broadband], we must hold it to upholding its trust responsibility to our Nations.” - Dr. Traci L. Morris
A member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, Morris has led AIPI for 10 years, and has 14 years of experience in digital equity and inclusion, network neutrality, and Tribal broadband. Morris co-authored Tribal Technology Assessment: The State of Internet Service on Tribal Lands (2019), which helped to fill a gap in quality data on connectivity needs in Indian Country.
Morris’s webinar dug into her own participatory research data investigating the digital divide in Indian Country, which was prompted by a dearth of quality data representing connectivity needs for Native Americans living on Tribal lands.
How the Core Values of Small ISPs Contribute to Internet Access and Digital Equity for All - Episode 556 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Angela Siefer (Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance) and Matt Larsen (CEO, Vistabeam) to talk about connecting the unconnected and doing digital equity work as a small Internet Service Provider (ISP). They talk about creating a culture of inclusion inside and out and working with local communities to get the most value out of every dollar. In a marketplace that heavily favors the largest cable and telephone providers, Angela and Matt share the ways that they participate in grant programs and how they actively build peer networks to exchange knowledge and make sure the Internet works for as many of us as it can.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.
Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.
Laura Breeden on the Start of NDIA and Some Digital Equity History - Building for Digital Equity Podcast
Laura Breeden, board member of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, joins us to talk about the beginning of NDIA - which happened in a bar among friends, along with most other good ideas. We also talk about what progress has been made on digital inclusion and reflect on some of the deeper history of the Internet and digital inclusion, going back to the early 1990's.
This show is 17 minutes long and can be played on this page or using the podcast app of your choice with this feed.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
Listen to other episodes here or see other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.
In just over 24 hours our next Building for Digital Equity (#B4DE) event goes live.
Tomorrow, June 7, beginning at 3 pm ET, #B4DE promises to offer engaging examples, practical tools, and nuggets of insight as digital equity advocates across the nation prepare to take advantage of unprecedented federal funds and programs spurred by the Digital Equity Act and bipartisan infrastructure law.
This free event, sponsored once again by UTOPIA Fiber, will be headlined by National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) Executive Director Angela Siefer. She will offer thoughts on what those working to close the digital divide should be thinking about while setting priorities in this historic moment, as states are developing their digital equity plans and getting ready to receive their share of the $42.5 billion contained in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
Though seats are filling up fast, there is still time to register here.
The livestream will be available (and later archived) on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, with live viewer questions answered by the panels. We recommend viewing it on YouTube here where the live chat will be most lively.
Co-hosted by NDIA Training & Community Engagement Manager Pamela Rosales and ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Director Christopher Mitchell, the 75-minute online webinar brings together a variety of front-line experts and digital inclusion practitioners who will share focused, concise lessons-learned and best-practices relevant for those working in both rural communities and urban centers.
Our next Building for Digital Equity (B4DE) event is only weeks away. Have you registered yet?
Sponsored by UTOPIA Fiber, the June 7 virtual gathering will feature engaging debates on the hottest topics in broadband: the upcoming release of BEAD funds, the challenges around mapping, updates on efforts to boost enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and the looming implications for both urban and rural communities.
Like B4DE in the past, this event, slated to begin at 3 pm ET on June 7, will be cohosted by Pamela Rosales, from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), and our own Christopher Mitchell, Director of ILSR's Community Broadband Networks Initiative.
Register now for the event here.
As with previous B4DE events, this one will include informative, concise presentations, a series of interactive trivia games, and an introduction to new data tools for those working on the front lines of digital equity. It will all be livestreamed and will be available (and later archived) on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, with live viewer questions answered by the panels.
Building for Digital Equity Podcast Series New Episodes
Meanwhile, be sure to check out our most recent episodes of our Building for Digital Equity podcast, which features short interviews with the people working in the trenches for digital inclusion.
Episode 7 is a discussion with Dwight Thomas, who built the first citywide municipal fiber network in Mont Belvieu, Texas. Thomas goes on talk about the importance of community engagement and how to make sure people can use the network once it is built before explaining his passion for discipleship and sharing knowledge.
As communities across the country are implementing digital equity plans and looking to expand access to high-speed Internet connectivity, the second Building for Digital Equity event (#B4DE) of the year comes weeks ahead of when states will receive their BEAD funds from the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Save the date and join us June 7 at 3 pm ET for #B4DE! As with previous B4DE events, this will be another virtual gathering that will offer up strategies to help simplify the complexities (and opportunities) of broadband connectivity. This event, sponsored again by UTOPIA Fiber, will focus on ways communities can foster meaningful action and advocacy.
Fresh off their most successful Net Inclusion gathering ever, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) will join ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks (CBN) team for the event as NDIA’s Pamela Rosales will co-host the livestream along with CBN Director Christopher Mitchell.
The 75-minute free event promises to be informative and include a series of fun interactive games. It will also debut a point-counterpoint component that will focus on the pending release of BEAD dollars for both rural and urban areas and the challenges around mapping as states try to determine how to get the biggest bang for the buck.
See our previous B4DE livestreams below:
Digital equity advocates rode into San Antonio, Texas for Net Inclusion 2023 to kick-off the largest gathering of the annual conference to date.
There were nearly 1,000 in attendance at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio for the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) marquee gathering. Those on the front lines of bridging the digital divide across the nation came to the three-day conference (Feb 28 to March 2) to network, share lessons, best-practices, and learn from experts as the largest ever federal investment in expanding broadband access is heading to state broadband offices this summer.
Mayor Addresses Attendees, Acknowledges Open Secret
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg welcomed attendees, noting how his city was a fitting venue for the event.
“It’s no secret San Antonio is one of the most socio-economically segregated cities in the United States,” he said. “And that’s why we have zeroed-in on equity – in our budget, in who gets invited to the table.”