Taking action for Digital Equity in 2019
Today marks the beginning of Digital Inclusion Week --a week where Google Fiber joins a collective effort to highlight organizations providing computer training, affordable devices and Internet access to people on the wrong side of the digital divide.
In 2019, getting a job, an educational degree, or even the latest bus schedule can depend on your access to the Internet and how good you are at navigating the online world once you are there. The division between the digital “haves” and “have nots” will only grow wider without the intervention of organizations dedicated to building residents’ digital skills and access.
Google Fiber partners closely with digital inclusion organizations nationally and in each of the cities where we operate. In fact, we couldn’t do our jobs without them. It’s why we support national programs like NTEN’s Digital Inclusion Fellowship --a program Google Fiber co-founded in 2015 and that is now in its fifth cohort --and resources like the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s Digital Inclusion Start-Up Manual.
It’s also why we have signed on as a supporter of the the Digital Equity Act of 2019. In the U.S., digital inclusion programs have traditionally been developed locally and funded locally. The Digital Equity Act aims to change that by authorizing over $1 billion in federal funding over five years to support state and local plans and programs. We believe this bill will generate a much needed set of state strategies and a more stable source of funding to support the organizations providing training to residents in cities across the U.S. You can help! Write to your Senator and Congressperson and tell them to vote to support the Digital Equity Act.
And check back here on the Google Fiber blog every day this week to meet some of the dedicated people and digital inclusion groups we’re working with across the country to hear firsthand about what’s happening in their communities. We are privileged to work alongside them, and to help in their important work.
Posted by John Burchett, Director, Communications, Policy, & Community Affairs, and Parisa Fatehi -Weeks, Head of Equity, Inclusion & Community Impact