Virtual Digital Skills Gap Symposium and Town Hall
The goal of the Symposium and Town Hall is to examine the issues and challenges that states and localities face in addressing the need for greater adoption of digital skills training. The Symposium and Town Hall will provide information to attendees on what federal and state government entities, non-profit sector, community-based organizations, and other diverse stakeholders are doing to close the digital divide and advance digital literacy for all Americans.
The Symposium will feature a panel discussion to present information on the Digital Equity Act (DEA), the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and other efforts to address access to broadband. The panel discussion will examine the following issues, among others:
- The FCC’s efforts to close the digital divide and promote digital equity through its Affordable Connectivity Program and other initiatives.
- Overview of the Digital Equity Act, including funding aspects, and the DEA’s implications for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program and the ACP.
- How should equity be defined and how should stakeholders identify the constituencies and populations that remain underserved?
- What are the impacts of the persistent digital divide on underserved communities and others left out of the digital ecosystem?
- The importance of states adopting comprehensive digital equity plans.
- Best practices and examples of states that have digital equity offices or that are developing plans and procedures to address digital equity.
The event will also feature a robust Town Hall discussion with experts from a range of perspectives, including faith-based institutions, civil rights organizations, digital literacy services, library services, local government, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Town Hall seeks to highlight several important topics, including:
- How to build the case for equity and diversity as the foundation for eliminating America’s digital skills gap.
- Breaking down the silos between corporate entities, non-profits, and government agencies.
- Lessons learned as communities adopt the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program.
- Community-based training programs developed and sponsored by non-profits and faith-based organizations.
The detailed agenda for the Symposium and Town Hall will be released prior to the event.
The event will be convened in an online format and will be available to the public via live feed from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live. The public may also follow the Symposium/Town Hall on the Commission’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/fccdotgovvideo. In addition, the public may follow the event on [email protected] or via the Commission’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcc. Members of the public may submit questions during the panel discussion and the Town Hall to [email protected].
Members of the public may submit written comments to the FCC’s Communications Equity and Diversity Council using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System, ECFS, at www.fcc.gov/ecfs. Any comments should be filed in GN Docket No. 17-208.