Incarcerated Individuals

Visions of Digital Equity Principles

Digital equity—or, digital opportunity, if you prefer—is having a moment. The US is making an unprecedented investment to ensure that individuals and communities have the capacity to fully participate in our society and economy. This is a huge undertaking with momentous implications on the future of the Nation. Each state has been asked to envision how life there can be transformed by achieving digital equity.

Federal money will help Baltimore workers get ‘shovel ready’ with broadband infrastructure jobs training

Baltimore (MD) Civic Works Program Director Eli Allen was approached by Paniagua’s Enterprise, a Baltimore-based communications construction company, to find workers capable of laying out fiber-optics for broadband and doing the accompanying construction work. “ [Paniagua’s Enterprise] identified a significant skills gap in being able to hire workers for these critical jobs, and have seen… an increased investment in the work,” explained Allen.

Wisconsin Releases Draft Digital Equity Plan for Public Comment

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) released the draft Wisconsin Digital Equity Plan for public comment. Once approved by the PSC, the Digital Equity Plan will guide the state’s strategy to improve digital equity, ensuring all in Wisconsin have the skills, devices, and broadband service necessary to fully participate in society and the economy. After the public comment period, the PSC will review the public comments and finalize the plan during an open meeting for submission to the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA).

Washington State Sets Digital Equity Goals

The Washington State Broadband Office released its draft Digital Equity Plan in September, giving the public a full 60 days to submit comments and feedback. This wide berth for civic participation reflects the state's vision of ensuring every Washingtonian has affordable broadband and the tools to participate in our digital society. Here's a look at how exactly Washington plans to achieve its vision, and what this means for state residents experiencing the digital divide.

Challenges to Achieving Digital Equity for Incarcerated Individuals

Through a series of acquisitions and mergers over three decades, prison technology companies like JPay and Global Tel Link (GTL) have dominated the prison telecommunications space, effectively becoming virtual monopolies. Anticompetitive practices have allowed corporations to gouge families with high prices and ancillary fees for prison phone calls, a practice that reportedly left one in three inmate families in debt.

Internet for All in Washington: Digital Equity Plan

The Washington State Broadband Office (WSBO) developed a vision for digital equity in Washington state: Everyone in Washington has affordable broadband internet technology as well as the tools and skills needed to participate in our digital society before 2028. The WSBO has established three goals designed to achieve the stated vision:

Meet NTIA Digital Equity Director Angela Thi Bennett

As the US sets out to get everyone connected to broadband, it’s about more than just making sure broadband is available everywhere.

New Hampshire Launches Statewide Efforts to Inform Five-Year Digital Equity Plan

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (UNHCE) was awarded $511,216 by the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) to lead the development of a five-year plan to connect residents state-wide with access to high-speed internet, digital devices, training, and a host of services and resources made possible through digital technology (e.g., telehealth, on-line educational resources, mobile banking, assistive

What a Digitally Equitable Minnesota Could Look Like—And How to Get There

In its recently released Draft Digital Opportunity Plan, the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development (OBD) envisions a future where digital equity connects all Minnesota residents to opportunities, options, and each other. The three goals highlighted in the plan—connect people to people, connect people to information, and connect people to resources—are ultimately limited, nodding to the moments where connections happen rather than the real systemic work it takes to sustain connections. To do so, OBD says, it will take people working together across the state with this shared vision.

West Virginia's Plan to Conquer the Digital Divide

In July, the West Virginia Department of Economic Development (WVDED) released the state's Draft Digital Equity Plan for public comment, asking stakeholders to weigh in on WVDED's strategy for bridging the digital divide. West Virginia’s Digital Equity Plan is a five-year, action-oriented roadmap for the WVDED—in collaboration with statewide partners—to ensure that every West Virginian can participate in today's increasingly digitally connected society.