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Digital Inclusion

Federal Government Has a Role in Funding Broadband Adoption, House Committee Witnesses Say

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Screenshot of the witnesses at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing

WASHINGTON, January 30, 2020 –Advocates for digital inclusion on Wednesday encouraged Congress to pass the Digital Equity Act and fund state and local efforts to close the digital divide.

The Digital Equity Act would allocate funding at the state and local level to bolster digital literacy.

At a hearing, National Digital Inclusion Alliance Executive Director Angela Siefer urged Congress to pass the bill. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-California, introduced the measure with Rep. Ben Lujan, D- New Mexico, and Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY, who were present at the hearing.

Representatives and witnesses alike turned their attention from solely the rural digital divide to urban areas where broadband is available, but adoption is low.

Rep. McNerney, D-California, lamented the “untapped” opportunity in households that could have broadband, but do not connect.

According to Siefer, the main barriers are cost and digital illiteracy.

Joshua Edmonds, director of digital inclusion in Detroit, said more than 40 percent of Detroit residents do not have access to broadband, and the lack of connectivity prevents residents from accessing important services, like online banking.

Although Edmonds said the city has made great strides partnering with the private sector, this is not sustainable without government resources.

Jeffrey Sural, director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office in the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, agreed. He said bridging the digital divide in North Carolina is only possible with state funding.

In his written statement, Sural argued that “existing social services can be leveraged to educate and inform about resources that may to be available to encourage adoption.” Sural believes the government plays an “important role by convening stakeholders and educating the public.”

Gigi Sohn, a distinguished fellow at Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy, lamented that states can prohibit communities from building local broadband networks. Sohn encouraged Congress to promote local networks.

Adrienne Patton was a Reporter for Broadband Breakfast. She studied English rhetoric and writing at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She grew up in a household of journalists in South Florida. Her father, the late Robes Patton, was a sports writer for the Sun-Sentinel who covered the Miami Heat, and is for whom the press lounge in the American Airlines Arena is named.

Digital Inclusion

Black Churches 4 Broadband Brings Religious Fervor to Better Internet Access

Black churches are more than spiritual gathering places: They are power centers within the Black community.

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Photo of the late Martin Luther King, Jr.

WASHINGTON, January 30, 2020 –Advocates for digital inclusion on Wednesday encouraged Congress to pass the Digital Equity Act and fund state and local efforts to close the digital divide.

The Digital Equity Act would allocate funding at the state and local level to bolster digital literacy.

At a hearing, National Digital Inclusion Alliance Executive Director Angela Siefer urged Congress to pass the bill. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-California, introduced the measure with Rep. Ben Lujan, D- New Mexico, and Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY, who were present at the hearing.

Representatives and witnesses alike turned their attention from solely the rural digital divide to urban areas where broadband is available, but adoption is low.

Rep. McNerney, D-California, lamented the “untapped” opportunity in households that could have broadband, but do not connect.

According to Siefer, the main barriers are cost and digital illiteracy.

Joshua Edmonds, director of digital inclusion in Detroit, said more than 40 percent of Detroit residents do not have access to broadband, and the lack of connectivity prevents residents from accessing important services, like online banking.

Although Edmonds said the city has made great strides partnering with the private sector, this is not sustainable without government resources.

Jeffrey Sural, director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office in the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, agreed. He said bridging the digital divide in North Carolina is only possible with state funding.

In his written statement, Sural argued that “existing social services can be leveraged to educate and inform about resources that may to be available to encourage adoption.” Sural believes the government plays an “important role by convening stakeholders and educating the public.”

Gigi Sohn, a distinguished fellow at Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy, lamented that states can prohibit communities from building local broadband networks. Sohn encouraged Congress to promote local networks.

Continue Reading

Digital Inclusion

Senators Reintroduce Bipartisan Digital Equity Act

Sen. Murray re-introduces bi-partisan that would provide grants to states pushing for digital equity.

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Patty Murray, D-Washington

WASHINGTON, January 30, 2020 –Advocates for digital inclusion on Wednesday encouraged Congress to pass the Digital Equity Act and fund state and local efforts to close the digital divide.

The Digital Equity Act would allocate funding at the state and local level to bolster digital literacy.

At a hearing, National Digital Inclusion Alliance Executive Director Angela Siefer urged Congress to pass the bill. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-California, introduced the measure with Rep. Ben Lujan, D- New Mexico, and Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY, who were present at the hearing.

Representatives and witnesses alike turned their attention from solely the rural digital divide to urban areas where broadband is available, but adoption is low.

Rep. McNerney, D-California, lamented the “untapped” opportunity in households that could have broadband, but do not connect.

According to Siefer, the main barriers are cost and digital illiteracy.

Joshua Edmonds, director of digital inclusion in Detroit, said more than 40 percent of Detroit residents do not have access to broadband, and the lack of connectivity prevents residents from accessing important services, like online banking.

Although Edmonds said the city has made great strides partnering with the private sector, this is not sustainable without government resources.

Jeffrey Sural, director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office in the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, agreed. He said bridging the digital divide in North Carolina is only possible with state funding.

In his written statement, Sural argued that “existing social services can be leveraged to educate and inform about resources that may to be available to encourage adoption.” Sural believes the government plays an “important role by convening stakeholders and educating the public.”

Gigi Sohn, a distinguished fellow at Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy, lamented that states can prohibit communities from building local broadband networks. Sohn encouraged Congress to promote local networks.

Continue Reading

Digital Inclusion

Report Highlights Importance Of Satellite Technologies, Secure Data and Communications

The report on new technologies and data lays out importance of data security and satellite communications.

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on

Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington

WASHINGTON, January 30, 2020 –Advocates for digital inclusion on Wednesday encouraged Congress to pass the Digital Equity Act and fund state and local efforts to close the digital divide.

The Digital Equity Act would allocate funding at the state and local level to bolster digital literacy.

At a hearing, National Digital Inclusion Alliance Executive Director Angela Siefer urged Congress to pass the bill. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-California, introduced the measure with Rep. Ben Lujan, D- New Mexico, and Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY, who were present at the hearing.

Representatives and witnesses alike turned their attention from solely the rural digital divide to urban areas where broadband is available, but adoption is low.

Rep. McNerney, D-California, lamented the “untapped” opportunity in households that could have broadband, but do not connect.

According to Siefer, the main barriers are cost and digital illiteracy.

Joshua Edmonds, director of digital inclusion in Detroit, said more than 40 percent of Detroit residents do not have access to broadband, and the lack of connectivity prevents residents from accessing important services, like online banking.

Although Edmonds said the city has made great strides partnering with the private sector, this is not sustainable without government resources.

Jeffrey Sural, director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office in the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, agreed. He said bridging the digital divide in North Carolina is only possible with state funding.

In his written statement, Sural argued that “existing social services can be leveraged to educate and inform about resources that may to be available to encourage adoption.” Sural believes the government plays an “important role by convening stakeholders and educating the public.”

Gigi Sohn, a distinguished fellow at Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy, lamented that states can prohibit communities from building local broadband networks. Sohn encouraged Congress to promote local networks.

Continue Reading

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