Individuals with a Language Barrier

Kentucky Pursues Full and Equitable Digital Access for All

The goal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Digital Equity Plan is to establish a roadmap that ensures everyone, regardless of their background or community, has access to the necessary technological resources to fully engage in our society, democracy, and economy. The Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet’s (ELC) Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has made the state's draft plan available to the public for feedback until October 15, 2023.

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).

Did Pandemic Aid Narrow the Digital Divide?

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 40% of California's Pre-K–12 households lacked “full digital access,” or reliable access to high-speed internet and a connected device, according to Census Bureau data. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) committed about $6.8 billion for schools and libraries to narrow the digital divide. As of the third and final funding window (fo

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.

Washington State Broadband Office awards $14.5 million to provide one-on-one technical support, devices, and subscriptions to facilitate internet use and adoption

The Washington State Department of Commerce committed $14.5 million in grants to continue expanding access to the internet through digital navigator services. These grants were awarded to three organizations:

Will AI in Schools Widen the Digital Divide?

Educators and education-technology professionals worry that artificial intelligence (AI) in the classroom could further widen digital inequities. The US Department of Education Office of Educational Technology's May 2023 "Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning" report warned that “algorithmic bias could diminish equity at scale with unintended discrimination." Further, it stated, "Bias is intrinsic to how AI algorithms are developed...and the department holds that bia

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.

Language Barriers and Digital Equity

In 2019, more than 44.9 million immigrants lived in the United States. One-third (14.8 million) were low income, meaning that their family’s income was below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. These immigrants face challenges including language barriers and lack of access to information. In 2019, approximately 46 percent of immigrants ages five and older (approximately 20 million people) were Limited English Proficient (LEP). Immigrants accounted for 81 percent of the country’s 25.5 million LEP individuals.

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