Civic Engagement

Say What You Want. There’s a Reason Washington Isn’t Leaving Twitter.

In the weeks since Elon Musk took over the platform, his erratic leadership and bewildering choices have alienated many of Twitter’s power users, a core crop of whom are part of the American political establishment. But leaving a communications channel that’s become central to how Washington works won’t be easy. Washington takes Twitter very seriously. Twitter is a place where all the worlds that make up Washington — the politicians, the policy experts, the press, academics, activists, and others — gather.

The Infrastructure Law is Still about More than Money

A year ago, I urged us all to look beyond the $65 billion the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act sets aside for broadband and realize the importance of Congress’ recognition that access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband is essential to full participation in modern life in the United States. I still find this renewed and updated Congressional commitment to universal service to be astounding. We should continue to celebrate it—and continue the work that ensures this commitment becomes a reality.

Illinois Seeks Public Support for Broadband Plan

Back in April, Illinois enacted legislation, the Broadband Infrastructure Advancement Act (P.A. 102-0699), that requires overarching procedures to make use of coming federal monies to support broadband deployment projects.

Leverage Libraries to Achieve Digital Equity for All

New federal programs and resources through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act  provide an unprecedented opportunity to build on the existing infrastructure and expertise of our nation’s libraries to inform state digital equity plans and accelerate broadband adoption and skills building for all nationwide. Libraries provide:

Restricting FCC Mapping Data

The Federal Communications Commission rejected dozens of requests from broadband providers to keep confidential the method that the providers use to identify broadband coverage areas. This was prompted by the FCC requiring each provider to explain to the agency how it determined broadband coverage areas in the latest round of gathering data for the FCC broadband maps.

NYC Office of Technology & Innovation: Strategic Plan 2022

This strategic pIan was developed by consulting with numerous experts and stakeholders to determine which priorities and initiatives would have the greatest impact on the everyday lives of New Yorkers and would leverage technology to make New York City government work better for all. The plan for 2022 was created to accomplish the following:

Washington Public Works Board invites public input on changes to broadband funding program

The Washington State Public Works Board (PWB) is seeking public participation to help identify and prioritize issues that stakeholders believe should be addressed in the Board’s broadband funding program as a result of changes made to the program by the 2022 State Legislature. Input from two public workshops in November and a public hearing session in December will also help guide implementation.

Colorado Announces Digital Government Strategic Plan

Gov Jared Polis (D-CO) and the Colorado Office of Information Technology (OIT) launched the Colorado Digital Government Strategic Plan.

Resounding Silence: The Need for Local Insights in Federal Broadband Policymaking

In the past, the Federal Communication Commission has made sweeping changes that have impacted communities without local input. The federal government is now poised to do the same again. This paper examines the public comment process at the FCC and whether municipal filers ultimately influence the Commission’s decisions. This paper suggests that the FCC must improve its community outreach efforts, specifically through the following suggestions: 

City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania create Pittsburgh Digital Equity Coalition

City of Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald created the Pittsburgh Digital Equity Coalition (PDEC), a working group of anchor organizations already working to promote digital equity and smaller community groups with intimate knowledge of the community need.