Net Inclusion

Content tagged with "Net Inclusion"

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Gina Birch Loves Digital Equity at the Ashbury Center in Cleveland

On the one hand, Cleveland is one of the worst connected cities in the nation. On the other hand, it’s also a metro region with among the highest Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) enrollment rates.

That’s because of the efforts of digital inclusion practitioners like Gina Burch, Program Coordinator at the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center. In the second episode of our new Building for Digital Equity podcast, Gina talks about how they trained digital navigators to help enroll eligible Clevelanders into the program that provides a $30/month subsidy for low-income households to pay for home Internet service.

Gina Birch

As a new nationwide campaign to boost ACP enrollment is underway, Gina touches on something that is key for enrolling skeptical would-be beneficiaries: the need for trusted messengers and organizations with roots in the community to be a part of the process.

She also highlights some of the challenges they are seeing on the ground and why having high-speed Internet access, as well as the digital skills necessary to get online, is about so much more than shopping or streaming movies. Gina talks about the link between Internet access and access to health care such as making Covid vaccine appointments.

You can listen to the 14 minute interview below or it can be played using the podcast app of your choice with this feed.

Also, you can listen to other episodes here or check out our long-running Community Broadband Bits podcasts here.

Gina Birch Loves Digital Equity at the Ashbury Center in Cleveland - Building for Digital Equity Podcast Episode 2

Building for Digital Equity logo

As she'll note in the beginning of this interview with Sean Gonsalves, Gina Birch loves her job as Program Coordinator at the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She discusses the remarkable transition in Cleveland from a city lagging in digital equity metrics to one toward the top of its game. 

They discuss the Affordable Connectivity Plan, ACP, and some of the challenges associated with the digital divide. Finally, they discuss some of the lessons they have taken from the Net Inclusion conference. 

This show is 14 minutes long and can be played on this page or using the podcast app of your choice with this feed

Transcript below. 

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.

Thanks to Joseph McDade for the music. The song is On the Verge and is used per his Free-Use terms.

A Dysfunctional FCC, Fiber Networks and Community Development, and Decentralized Solutions | Episode 66 of the Connect This! Show

Connect This

Join us Thursday, March 9th at 2pm 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 catch up on all things Net Inclusion 2023, as well as all the other broadband news that's fit to print.

Email us at with feedback and ideas for the show.

Subscribe to the show using this feed or find it on the Connect This! page, and watch on LinkedIn, on YouTube Live, on Facebook live, or below.

Remote video URL

NDIA Hosts Largest Ever Net Inclusion Gathering

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.”

Net Inclusion 2022 Coming to Portland

Because of the pandemic, for the past two years the annual Net Inclusion conference had been held virtually. This year Net Inclusion 2022 – bringing together digital inclusion advocates, academics, Internet Service Providers, and policymakers – will return to an in-person event. 

As in years past, the conference is being organized by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), a national grassroots organization that works collaboratively with digital inclusion practitioners and advocates “to craft, identify and disseminate financial and operational resources for digital inclusion programs while serving as a bridge to policymakers and the general public.”

The three-day conference, which will be hosted at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon Feb. 15-17 and livestreamed to accommodate those unable to travel, will feature interactive sessions that range from celebrating the “Digital Equity Champion Awards,” a plenary on federal broadband funding, another that explores structural racism featuring NDIA's own Regina Cooper Benjamin, culminating in a fireside chat with FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

The panel speakers are a Who's Who of community broadband experts. ILSR’s Christopher Mitchell will be on a panel to talk about “Building Subsidized & Affordable Broadband.” Deb Socia of the Enterprise Center will join a panel on "Economic Development and Digitial Inclusion," while Next Century Cities' Francella Ochillo will be a featured speaker on a panel that explores "Local Government Funding, Office, Coordination & Policy." 


In addition to the panel discussions, each day will include lightning rounds and break-out sessions that center around three focus areas: