Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Developing Digital Skills and Opportunity in Arkansas

The purpose of the Arkansas Digital Skills and Opportunity Plan is to outline an actionable path forward to make digital opportunity an economic benefit and reality for all Arkansans. This plan will position the state’s residents to pursue cross-sectoral economic growth through broadband-related, nondeployment activities and enhance workforce development. The draft plan is open for public comment until January 25, 2024. ARConnect has a detailed vision for achieving digital opportunity in Arkansas: 

New Mexico's Plan for an Inclusive and Prosperous Society

The State of New Mexico recognizes the transformative power of technology in fostering an inclusive and prosperous society for all of New Mexico’s diverse and unique communities and across New Mexico’s rich tapestry of cultures and languages as well as its diverse geographies. With this in mind, the New Mexico Office of Broadband Access and Expansion (OBAE) released its draft State Digital Equity Plan for public comment in late 2023.

How the FCC Plans to End the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal benefit that helps qualifying low-income households pay for internet service and devices. Since January 2022, the ACP has grown to help over 22 million U.S. households (roughly one in six of all Americans) access the internet. However, the ACP is running out of funding. Congress originally appropriated $14.2 billion for the ACP, but over time that amount has been spent down to the point where the ACP is on course to run out of funding this Spring.

Everyone Connected: Connecticut's Digital Equity Plan

In 2022, Governor Ned Lamont (D-CT) called on the Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology within the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to lead the State’s efforts around digital equity. In late 2023, the commission released its draft digital equity plan, Connecticut: Everyone Connected, for public comment.

Reactions to Lawmakers' Introduction of Legislation to Extend the Affordable Connectivity Program

“The Affordable Connectivity Program has helped close the digital divide by connecting over 25,000 Vermont households to lower-cost internet—an essential for working, learning, and staying connected to our communities. Access to high-speed internet isn’t a luxury anymore, it’s a necessity.

Coloradans at the Heart of State's Digital Access Plan

The Colorado Office of the Future of Work's Digital Equity Team released the Colorado Digital Access Plan for public comment. The plan includes a vision, mission and values that honor Coloradans and their unique needs and assets. People are at the center of Colorado’s digital inclusion work and in every section of the plan. With this in mind, feedback from the public can be submitted until January 19, 2024.

Connected and Empowered: A Digital Equity Plan for Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania strives to achieve universal and equitable connectivity to support the state's social, economic, and quality of life outcomes. The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) has released Connected and Empowered: A Digital Equity Plan for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to work towards digital inclusion for every resident of the Commonwealth. PBDA's draft plan is available for public comment until January 8, 2024.

Guiding Texas' Digital Opportunity Investments

The Texas Broadband Development Office (BDO), under the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, developed the Texas Digital Opportunity Plan to guide non-infrastructure-related digital opportunity investments. Another aim is to position the BDO to receive State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Infrastructure Administration (NTIA).

Florida's Roadmap for Closing the Digital Divide

The Florida Department of Commerce (FloridaCommerce) released the State of Florida’s Digital Adoption and Use Plan for public comment. FloridaCommerce developed this plan to serve as the state’s benchmark and roadmap for closing the digital divide and increasing digital access across the state.

A Vision and a Mission for Digital Equity in North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Information Technology’s (NCDIT) Division of Broadband and Digital Equity developed the North Carolina draft Digital Equity Plan. This plan is a comprehensive strategy that aims to ensure all individuals and communities have access to the digital tools, resources, and skills they need to participate fully in the digital environment.