Slow broadband adoption needs an accessible real-time solution

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While making broadband available is an obvious first step to closing the digital divide, getting people to use it as a way of life takes more than bringing it to their doorsteps. Over the coming weeks and months, Congress, industry and stakeholders must work together to formulate a multi-pronged approach that not only tackles broadband availability and affordability, but also the accessibility component of the digital divide. The National Urban League’s Lewis Latimer Plan shines light on a path to achieve digital readiness throughout every community. The plan proposes that a national Office of Digital Equity be established to help coordinate training targeted to the demographic groups with the lowest rates of adoption, as well as issue reports on the effectiveness of the different digital readiness strategies. It also urges an Online Digital Readiness Portal to provide every American with access to free, age-appropriate content that teaches digital skills and enhances digital readiness. The Biden administration should undertake these clear action-items now, in tandem with efforts to address the availability portion of the digital divide through the infrastructure package currently moving through Congress.

[Kim Keenan is co-chair of the Internet Innovation Alliance.]

Slow broadband adoption needs a real-time solution