Broadband Breakfast on March 6, 2024 – State Digital Equity Plans

The NTIA's announcement of grants kick-starts a new phase for the Digital Equity Act program.

Broadband Breakfast on March 6, 2024 – State Digital Equity Plans

Passed under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Digital Equity Act earmarks $2.75 billion to assist states in planning and promoting internet adoption among underserved populations. As the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the program’s administrator, kicks off the announcement of grants, it's time to assess how the Digital Equity Act has advanced in the past two years and look ahead to its future implementation. Considering the broader landscape of grants supporting broadband adoption and implementation, notably its sister initiative, the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program, what can we expect from states digital equity plans?


  • Maggie Drummond-Bahl, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Maine Connectivity Authority
  • Julia Brinjac, Digital Equity Program Manager, PA Broadband Development Authority
  • Meghan McDermott, Assistant Vice President for Digital Equity, New York State ConnectALL
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Maggie Drummond-Bahl is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Maine Connectivity Authority, a position she has held since May 2022.  Maggie led the digital equity planning process for the State of Maine and authored the Maine Digital Equity Plan, which was accepted by NTIA in February.  In her role at MCA, she leads execution of the digital equity strategy and supports a team charged with building and strengthening partnerships with communities, organizations, agencies, policy makers, funders and others. 

Julia Brinjac has been in the public service sector for over a decade in varied roles and responsibilities and most recently she served in senior policy positions as the Director of Policy for both the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities during the Wolf Administration. In those roles she advanced numerous, person centered policies, legislation, and regulation on varied topics- from the regulation of medical marijuana in the financial services sector to advancing Alzheimer's services and supports for older Pennsylvanians. Currently, she serves as the Digital Equity Program Manager at the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority where she oversees all program development and deployment related to both Pennsylvania’s Digital Equity Act dollars and two Capital Projects fund programs centered around community anchor institutions and devices.

Meghan McDermott is AVP for Digital Equity with the ConnectALL Office, where she leads expansion of the State’s digital equity portfolio. With over two decades of public policy, nonprofit, philanthropic, and educational leadership, Meghan brings her expertise to facilitating, scaling and sustaining digital adoption. Most recently, Meghan led digital inclusion initiatives for the City of New York.

Breakfast Media LLC CEO Drew Clark has led the Broadband Breakfast community since 2008. An early proponent of better broadband, better lives, he initially founded the Broadband Census crowdsourcing campaign for broadband data. As Editor and Publisher, Clark presides over the leading media company advocating for higher-capacity internet everywhere through topical, timely and intelligent coverage. Clark also served as head of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, a state broadband initiative.

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