Government Technology

Digital Equity Is Having a Moment. What Happens When It Ends?

Digital equity is having a moment, but what happens when that moment ends? Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), asked, “How do we keep this going?” The answer, Siefer said, is to figure out what the work needs to live on, specifically how practitioners can create “sustained, robust digital inclusion ecosystems in every community.” Digital inclusion ecosystems is a concept that the NDIA has already defined—a digital inclusion ecosystem is “a combination of programs and policies that meet a geographic community’s unique and diverse needs, where

Kansas Gets $15 Million in Digital Equity Funds from Treasury

The US Treasury Department awarded Kansas $15 million for digital equity work, with the money going toward public Wi-Fi, digital skills training, and more. In addition, 20 other states have applied for digital equity funding from the same source, with other awards expected to be made soon. “Kansas is just the first of many more to come,” said Joseph Wender director of the Treasury Department's Capital Projects Fund (CPF), which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

State of the States 2023: Putting Numbers to Broadband

Without a record to point to yet, addresses from new governors tend to be light on details as they grapple with forming their cabinets, articulating policy priorities, confronting economic realities, and delving into budget details.

Closing the Digital Divide Requires More Than a Quick Fix

In the summer of 2023, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will begin distributing hundreds of millions, and in some cases billions, of funding to states as part of the $42 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. Expectedly, states are busy creating and staffing broadband offices in anticipation of the BEAD and digital equity monies. Blinded by a nationwide broadband fever, however, some broadband leaders have proclaimed that states will entirely close, bridge, or eliminate the digital divide in the coming years.

Broadband Offices’ Perspectives on FCC Broadband Map Deadline

State governments were asked to submit challenges to the accuracy of the Federal Communications Commission's new National Broadband Map ahead of a Jan. 13, 2023 deadline. So, how have states navigated this process, and what are they working on next until these funds are allocated? 

How the FCC’s Chinese Telecoms Ban Will Impact State, Local Government

The Federal Communications Commission's recent restrictions on five Chinese telecoms’ technologies — adopted on Nov. 25, 2022 — could impact state and local governments in ways previous bans haven’t. “Up until now … the federal agencies have been prohibited from buying this kind of technology, but it's still been widely available to state and local governments, to private companies, individuals,” said Jack Corrigan, research analyst at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET).

What Are Broadband Labels and Are They Useful?

To help consumers better understand broadband options, Congress has mandated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revamp its concept of broadband labels, with the goal of providing more detailed info about competitive offerings from different providers. The idea is that providers use these templates to share information like the base monthly cost of broadband, activation fees, optional monthly charges, discounts, and other details regarding performance and reliability with consumers.

No Internet, Now What? A New York Village Plans for the Worst

The Village of Lynbrook (NY) is planning for the possibility of a major Internet outage — the kind that could last six months. The village's Internet Outage Continuity Plan has distributed copies to all of its municipal departments. The document is intended to supplement other disaster recovery and business continuity plans. It maps out every function conducted by local government, identifies those involving the Internet, and lists alternative, offline methods of getting the job done.