The National Telecommunications and Information Administration asks states to address two critical questions in their visions of digital equity:
- What will digital equity look like in the context of your state?
- What are the broad goals that should be accomplished in executing this plan (e.g., improve rural health outcomes, increase underrepresented youth employment in technology-related fields)?
As states and their communities evaluate draft visions of digital equity, please consider these additional questions:
- Does your digital equity vision address the broader work of ensuring that everyone has opportunities based on their needs? Does your digital equity vision articulate a commitment to remove barriers and empower the most vulnerable in your state?
- Does your digital equity vision illustrate how ubiquitous, affordable connectivity to reliable, high-speed broadband will benefit all your communities through increased access to health care, education and job training, economic growth, and civic participation?
- Is your digital equity vision the result of inclusive, collaborative exercises that directly engaged communities in the planning process with government, broadband providers, philanthropies, and other organizations? Have these efforts focused on the perspectives of the people digital equity efforts are intended to serve, including the “covered populations” identified in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act?
- Did the state broadband office develop authentic relationships with community advocates and community-based organizations to understand community concerns and issues?
- Did the state broadband office meet with community advocates and community-based organizations to review the state’s draft digital equity vision and plan and discuss concerns?
- Does your digital equity vision include creating and sustaining digital inclusion coalitions of libraries, community-based organizations, local governments, and housing authorities?
- Does your digital equity vision advance and ensure digital safety, privacy, and well-being, empowering people with the tools and skills they need to navigate risks and avoid harms associated with digital environments?
- Does your digital equity vision plan on using technology to open opportunities and not create or sustain barriers for people?
- Does your digital equity vision bridge short-term impact and long-term, iterative, and sustainable efforts?
- Does your digital equity vision consider resilience, ensuring that networks in all communities are able to endure various threats to stability, including climate change, disasters, and similar future system stressors?
- Does your digital equity vision include appropriate and measurements and evaluation frameworks?
- Does your digital equity vision include accountability mechanisms and transparent reporting that is widely disseminated? Did the state broadband office practice transparency in creating and revising the draft digital equity vision and plan?