Seniors/Aging Individuals

Americans 50+ Support the Affordable Connectivity Program

In 2021, Congress created the Affordable Connectivity Program, a program that is helping eligible low-income households afford high-speed internet, and allowing them to stay connected with family, work, healthcare resources, and more. The program provides a discount of up to $30.00 per month toward internet service.

Hawai'i Digital Equity Plan

The vision of the Digital Equity Plan for Hawaiʻi will be the overarching guide that will steer the direction of all strategies, objectives, and actions in this plan. As remote work, online learning, telehealth services, and virtual interactions became essential, individuals and communities faced immense obstacles getting digitally connected. These challenges will continue without high quality Internet access, adequate tools, and the necessary digital literacy skills.

Why Leading with Digital Equity Matters

Maine is the first state in the country to have its Digital Equity Plan approved by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This is a major accomplishment in that this represents the first statewide Digital Equity Plan to ever be developed for our state (and the first tied to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—also known as Bipartisan Infrastructure Law). And, it is fitting that our Digital Equity Plan can now be put into motion ahead of any infrastructure deployed through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program.

Digital Equity Plan for Older Adults & Adults with Disabilities

This Digital Equity Plan for Older Adults and People with Disabilities in San Francisco details an extensive investigative and strategic planning process aimed at enhancing digital equity for San Francisco's older adults and people with disabilities. The primary goals of this Plan are to describe the digital equity barriers and needs of San Francisco's older adults and people with disabilities, as well as the organizations that serve them.

Sustaining the Movement and Funding: The Future of Digital Inclusion

We have 1,300 people at Net Inclusion 2024 in Philadelphia. We’ve secured $2.75 billion from the Digital Equity Act. And this is just the beginning. It has to be just the beginning. So how do we sustain this movement? The answer to sustainability lies in robust digital inclusion ecosystems. They’re the key to HOLISTIC digital inclusion. Digital equity is the goal, and digital inclusion ecosystems lead us there by weaving together digital inclusion activities happening across your communities. These 6 strategies will help sustain our movement and field:

Maine Leads Nation with First Plan To Close the Digital Divide

Maine is the first state in the country to have its Digital Equity Plan approved by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The plan outlines the steps the state will take to expand access to high-speed, reliable internet and break down barriers to connections, especially for populations most impacted by the digital divide. Its approval is the first step for Maine to qualify for Digital Equity Act funding, resulting in an estimated allocation between $12 million and $14 million.

SC Digital Opportunity Department Submits Digital Equity Plan

On February 12, 2024, the Digital Opportunity Department (DOD) of the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff submitted its Digital Equity Plan to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This five-year Plan is designed to help bridge the digital divide through enhanced broadband adoption and use. Its goals are to enhance the following:

The ACP is Critical Aid for Low Income Older Adults

It is downright shocking that millions of low-income older adults, members of our one of our most vulnerable communities, will lose their broadband connection due to the uncertainty of funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program. For older adults in financial need, the extension of funding for the ACP is critical. While the number of those over the age of 65 with broadband in the home has grown, it is still one of the biggest gaps of the digital divide. At the start of the ACP, only 64% of those 65 and older had a broadband connection in the home 

What's Your State's Digital Equity Plan?

To achieve true digital equity, deploying broadband to every household in the United States will not be enough. What is also needed are robust, comprehensive programs that address the human side of closing the digital divide and ensuring everyone has access to the technologies, skills, and opportunities necessary to thrive. Over the last seven months and with funding from the Digital Equity Act's State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have released draft digital equity plans for public review and comment.

The Quickening Pace of Landline Retirement

Sooner rather than later, landline telephone service will completely transition to wireless and Internet-based calling (commonly referred to as Voice Over the Internet Protocol or "VoIP").  While the Federal Communications Commission, for over a decade, has precluded a “flash cut” service termination, I expect the timeline for copper wire service retirements to shorten.