Public Policy Initiatives

The state of digital equity

Library Impacts

National/International Organizations

  1. The National Digital Inclusion Alliance  was founded in May 2015  to provide a unified voice for home and public broadband access programs, and local technology training while serving as a bridge to policymakers and the general public.Take a look at their site and consider joining. See NDIA’s recommendations to the federal government on digital inclusion as an example of their good work.
  2. The Benton Foundation has published a report on Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Broadband Adoption Initiatives, available as Benton-Foundation-DI-Report
  3. There is an initiative called “ConnectHome” led by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) working to accelerate broadband adoption by children and families living in HUD-assisted housing across the nation.
  4.  The Association for Repair –, is an organization which advocates for the right to repair, promoting legislation and other solutions. Membership fee is waived for non-profits.
  5. In May, 2020, the Office for Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) gave direction to banks to include digital inclusion programs in Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) loans. See NDIA Blog for details

Research Studies

The NDIA Digital Inclusion created a Digital Inclusion Resource Library – a collection of documents, reports, teaching aids and other assets used by digital inclusion practitioners. The platform can point to interactive content as well.

The open access journal Social Inclusion published, in May 2020, a special issue co-edited by Dr. Bianca Reisdorf (UNC Charlotte) and Colin Rhinesmith (Simmons University) titled “Digital Inclusion Across the Globe: What Is Being Done to Tackle Digital Inequities?”

In addition, here are a list of resources, particular focused on economic impact of digital training.

Lifeline Services and Broadband

For the latest information on Lifeline and Broadband, check out FCC lifeline support. 

Lifeline typically provides up to a $9.25 monthly discount on service for eligible low-income subscribers. Subscribers may receive a Lifeline discount on either a wireline or a wireless service, but they may not receive a discount on both services at the same time. FCC rules prohibit more than one Lifeline service per household.

The FCC reconsidered the policy to extend  Lifeline’s monthly credit for low-income households to include broadband which was made in December of 2016. See this link for the Modernization document, and this link for the Order of Reconsideration revoking Lifeline Broadband Provider designations for 9 carriers. For reactions to the revocation, and other FCC policies see:

For additional perspectives on the original extension of lifeline to include broadband, see:

City- and State-based Initiatives

  1. A summary piece, published February 2019 on From St. Louis to San Francisco, what cities are doing to bridge the digital divide
  2. Austin’s Digital Inclusion Page, containing updates to city initiatives in implementing their Digital Strategic Inclusion Plan
  3. There is an initiative in California to provide Internet for all, raised originally in the context of a Comcast-Time Warner merger
  4. Kansas City has the Kansas City Coalition for Digital Inclusion page and has published a research paper on Community Learning Centers
  5. Minneapolis’s Digital Inclusion Page describing the efforts in their city
  6. New York efforts include
    1. June 2018 launch of Digital Equity Lab
    2. City initiatives for broadband in public housing and universal broadband
  7. Philadelphia has funding for Digital Inclusion initiatives available. Details at Digital Literacy Alliance
  8. Portland’s page on Broadband and Digital Equity (October 2018)
  9. The San Francisco Digital Equity
  10. Seattle has a mature and robust program for increasing digital literacy. Here are links to Seattle’s take on Digital Equity and  their Digital Equity Initiative.
  11. Chicago’s Technology Resources
  12. Lessons, cases and resources developed by local technology champions and planners
  13. Charlotte (NC) Digital Inclusion Alliance has published a playbook,
    providing a road-map of strategies for reducing Charlotte’s digital divide from 19% to 9% by 2026.

If you are aware of others, please send us an email or use the contact form.

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