The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the implementation of the digital discrimination section in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. NDIA submitted comments urging the FCC to:
We strongly urge you to take concerted action to promote the nomination of Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] to be a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. Sohn has been a long-time advocate for internet freedom, consumer protection, and digital inclusivity. The FCC cannot move forward on several significant public interest issues until Ms. Sohn is confirmed by the full US Senate.
Digital Inclusion Guide for States: How to Prepare for Success in Your State Digital Equity Planning
This guide provides state and territory leaders with simple, tactical steps to prepare now for planning and eventual implementation of digital equity strategies. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Digital Equity Act (DEA) funds the creation and implementation of statewide digital equity plans.
To ensure Congress's largest-ever broadband and digital equity investments are here to stay, we must have robust and accurate broadband adoption data. Unfortunately, such broadband adoption data is not currently publicly available. While the Federal Communications Commission's maps were updated in 2021 with 2020 data, the broadband adoption data was not released. The importance of having robust, accurate, and timely data can not be overstated.
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance prioritizes equity. This means our digital inclusion work prioritizes people who have been left behind in the digital age. NDIA’s policy priorities focus on expanding access to affordable broadband service, appropriate devices, and digital skills training and support. NDIA bridges the community of digital inclusion practitioners and policymakers with a unified voice advocating for broadband access, devices, digital skills training, and tech support.
On Jan 25, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance submitted comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s public notice on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). Along with thirty-six signatories, they wrote their comments focusing on:
The digital divide is not only a rural problem. The digital divide is a problem that unites us across rural, urban, suburban and tribal lands. It is a bipartisan problem. The solution must be multi-pronged: affordable ubiquitous broadband with the appropriate devices and trusted digital literacy and technical support. It has been over a decade since the federal government has supported broadband access and use for disadvantaged communities. The current emergency support for digital inclusion is temporary.
The pandemic has widened long-existing inequities like the digital divide — the term used to refer to the fact that many people across the country lack access to affordable broadband due to a cycle of profit-driven discrimination. Congress cannot stand idly by while millions of people across the country are unable to connect with loved ones, work from home, engage in distance learning, take advantage of telehealth or otherwise fully participate in society because they lack affordable broadband access.
Public Knowledge, Communications Workers of America, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Next Century Cities, Common Cause, and Greenlining Institute filed an ex parte warning the Federal Communications Commission that its deregulatory agenda leaves consumers vulnerable to losing broadband service during the pandemic. AT&T recently told the FCC that it is discontinuing DSL broadband service.
Limiting Broadband Investment to "Rural Only” Discriminates Against Black Americans and other Communities of Color
The federal government’s existing broadband programs target hundreds of millions of dollars to expand broadband availability for residents of “unserved and underserved” rural areas, while studiously ignoring tens of millions of urban Americans who still lack high-speed internet service. This policy framework is counterproductive for reducing the nation’s overall digital divide. It is also structurally racist, discriminating against unconnected Black Americans and other communities of color. We present data below showing that: