IV. Plan for Sustainability

“Achieving digital equity for all people of the United States requires additional and sustained investment and research efforts,” Congress found in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Without sustained investment in digital adoption and inclusion efforts at the community level, the huge new investments in broadband infrastructure and affordability cannot close the digital divide.

Digital equity visions, strategies, and plans must address the ability to respond to today’s community needs while also looking ahead at how those needs will evolve and what will be required to meet them. These efforts must be long-term and sustainable to ensure that community needs continue to be assessed and addressed.

With this in mind, we offer the following principles:

  1. Digital equity efforts must bridge short-term impact and long-term, iterative, and sustainable efforts. Closing the digital divide will not be a one-shot effort; it will be a long-term commitment that should adjust to and reflect changing technology, policy, and circumstances and community needs. Sustained digital equity efforts require short- and long-term key performance indicators as well as periodic assessments of progress.
  2. Network resilience is crucial for ensuring equitable and reliable digital access, enabling sustained digital equity. Networks in all areas must be able to endure various threats to stability, including climate change, disasters, and similar future system stressors.