State Digital Equity Plans
The award period for the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program is one year, beginning on the date on which the grantee is awarded the grant funds.
Requirements for the contents of State Digital Equity Plans:
- Identification of barriers to digital equity faced by Covered Populations in the State.
- Measurable objectives for documenting and promoting, among each Covered Population located in that State a. The availability of, and affordability of access to, fixed and wireless broadband technology; b. The online accessibility and inclusivity of public resources and services; c. Digital literacy; d. Awareness of, and the use of, measures to secure the online privacy of, and cybersecurity with respect to, an individual; and e. The availability and affordability of consumer devices and technical support for those devices.
- An assessment of how the measurable objectives will impact and interact with the State’s a. Economic and workforce development goals, plans, and outcomes; b. Educational outcomes; c. Health outcomes; d. Civic and social engagement; and e. Delivery of other essential services.
- In order to achieve measurable objectives, a description of how the State plans to collaborate with key stakeholders in the State.
- A list of organizations with which the Administering Entity for the State collaborated in developing the Plan
In addition to the above requirements, the State Digital Equity Plan developed with planning grant funds shall, at a minimum, include the following:
- A stated vision for digital equity;
- A digital equity needs assessment, including a comprehensive assessment of the baseline from which the State is working and the State’s identification of the barriers to digital equity faced generally and by each of the covered populations in the State;
- An asset inventory, including current resources, programs, and strategies that promote digital equity for each of the covered populations, whether publicly or privately funded, as well as existing digital equity plans and programs already in place among municipal, regional, and Tribal governments;
- A coordination and outreach strategy, including opportunities for public comment by, collaboration with, and ongoing engagement with representatives of each category of covered populations within the State and with the full range of stakeholders within the State;
- A description of how municipal, regional, and/or Tribal digital equity plans will be incorporated into the State Digital Equity Plan;
- An implementation strategy that is holistic and addresses the barriers to participation in the digital world, including affordability, devices, digital skills, technical support, and digital navigation. The strategy should (a) establish measurable goals, objectives, and proposed core activities to address the needs of covered populations, (b) set out measures ensuring the plan’s sustainability and effectiveness across State communities, and (c) adopt mechanisms to ensure that the plan is regularly evaluated and updated;
- An explanation of how the implementation strategy addresses gaps in existing state, local, and private efforts to address the barriers;
- A description of how the State intends to accomplish the implementation strategy described above by engaging or partnering with: a. Workforce agencies such as state workforce agencies and state/local workforce boards and workforce organizations; b. labor organizations and community-based organizations; and c. Institutions of higher learning, including but not limited to four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, education and training providers, and educational service agencies;
- A timeline for implementation of the plan; and
- A description of how the State will coordinate its use of State Digital Equity Capacity Grant funding and its use of any funds it receives in connection with the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program, other federal or private digital equity funding.