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Digital Divide Digital Inequality Digital Redlining

Digital Redlining

Digital redlining is a term where decision makes deny electronic equipment growth in processes or policies to people and housing in low-income areas.

Digital opportunities could include discriminatory marketing, financial, or residential opportunities.

Is investing in high-speed internet is yet another digital exclusion?

Roots of a Digital Divide

A bill introduced last Friday tackles broadband underinvestment in low-income areas with hopes to address exclusivity agreements between providers and residential buildings.

Could the United States Government and the Federal Communication Commission take action to prohibit digital redlining?

On August 4, 2021 Representative Yvette Clarke of New York started an inquiry on the topic of digital redlining.


Uhunoma Edamwen. Bill to Address Digital Redlining, Exclusivity Agreements Between Providers and Buildings. Broadbandbreakfast.com. Published August 4, 2021. Accessed August 5, 2021. https://broadbandbreakfast.com/2021/08/bill-to-address-digital-redlining-exclusivity-agreements-between-providers-and-buildings/

Nally CW. Redlining in a Digital Age | Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP. Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP. Published August 31, 2018. Accessed August 5, 2021. https://www.bcclegal.com/2018/08/31/redlining-in-a-digital-age/

Text – H.R.4875 – 117th Congress (2021-2022): To require the Federal Communications Commission to issue a notice of inquiry related to digital redlining, to prohibit digital redlining, and for other purposes. Congress.gov. Published 2021. Accessed August 5, 2021. https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/4875/text

Categories
Access Points Broadband in WNC Digital Divide Digital Inclusion WiFi

Mobilizing Digital Navigators

Closing the Digital Divide

Because the digital divide is much more significant with the more rural mountain communities of Western North Carolina, providing mobility of the following assets is needed:

  • Computers, Chromebooks
  • Tech Knowledge
  • Hotspots and/or Mobile Access Points

Having a regular event at consistent locations would be effective in implementing ideas to improve digital inclusion and minimize the digital divide.

We know schools have been successful in implementing school buses with Wi-Fi.

Why can’t mobility be provided throughout the year to strategic community locations like libraries, town centers, or churches?


Mobilizing Libraries in the Fight to Close the Digital Divide – Heartland Forward. Heartland Forward. Published July 23, 2021. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://heartlandforward.org/2021/07/23/mobilizing-libraries-in-the-fight-to-close-the-digital-divide/


Web Tech Czar, Marc Czarnecki is a Digital Navigator and contributing member to the Western North Carolina Broadband Project’s Leadership Team. I welcome resource ideas at Marc@WNCBroadbandProject.org. or by calling 828-365-8299.

More WNC Broadband Project Articles on the Digital Divide

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Broadband access Buncombe Digital Divide Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)

$50 Internet Discount

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)?

The EBB program presents a unique opportunity to bring adults online at a discounted cost.

The WNC Broadband Project team wants to ensure the utilization of this important program for adults of all ages.

Get Help Paying for Low-Cost, High-Speed Internet

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a government program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic.

EBB provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households.

North Carolina EBB Providers

Who are the NC EBB providers?

How Do I Qualify?

A household is eligible for EBB if one member of the household meets any of the following:

  • Qualifies for the Lifeline program, SNAP, or Medicaid
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Note that the Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

For more information, visit the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) website.

Application Process

Eligible households can enroll directly through participating broadband providers or with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).

USAC is the company that administers the FCC’s Lifeline Program. People who are not currently in Lifeline must apply for the EBB Program through the National Lifeline Verifier, which is currently required to enroll in the FCC’s Lifeline benefit program.

Participants of the FCC’s Lifeline program do not need to apply for the EBB Program and must simply opt-in to a plan provided by a participating North Carolina internet service provider.

Digital Literacy Help

In Western North Carolina, the Digital Literacy Network is available to help the 60+ year-old Buncombe County resident by:

More About the EBB from OATS, the Older Adults Technology Services.

Categories
Broadband in WNC Digital Divide

The Issue

Device Ownership

What is the core issue with the digital divide in America?

Device ownership is the heart of digital equity and the ‘Gateway to Opportunity.’ says Digtunity.

Help bridge the #digitaldivide. Digital equity is a civil rights issue. This injustices that the digital divide inflicts on people are worthy of outrage and an ugent, societal response.

Digtunity

Bridging the Digital Divide

What is needed?

  • Working computers
  • Internet access
  • Digital literacy skills
  • Technical support
  • Device repair

Who is most affected?

  • Students
  • Older adults
  • Veterans
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Other Marginalized populations

Digital Divide – 3 Key Issues

  1. Computers – everyone needs a computer with up-to-date functionality and support
  2. Internet – millions of people do not have access to the internet due to affordability or lack of physical connectivity
  3. Digital Literacy – everyone needs to know how to sue a computer safely, and perform common tasks such as sending email, using websites, and utilizing common applications like spreadsheets and word processing

More at the Digital Literacy Network


The Issue. (2021, April 21). Digitunity. https://dev.digitunity.org/the-issue/

Categories
Digital Divide Digital Inequality

Digital Divide Decisions

Don’t replace the digital divide with the “not good enough divide”

Broadband of 25 Mbps down / 3 Mbps up; is a current FCC standard that is definitely NOT future-proof.

With strategic decisions being made to a magnitude not see in the history of the internet, what should the benchmark become?

Congress must prioritize spending public funds for high-speed service, not simply good-enough service.

Tom Wheeler – Brookings

Wheeler, T. (2021, June 21). Don’t replace the digital divide with the “not good enough divide.” Brookings; Brookings. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2021/06/21/dont-replace-the-digital-divide-with-the-not-good-enough-divide/

Categories
American Rescue Plan Digital Divide North Carolina

Closing the Digital Divide in NC

American Rescue Plan – Recommendation Investing $1.2 billion

Closing the Digital Divide

The recommendation invests $1.2 billion in broadband access and affordability to close the digital divide in North Carolina. While North Carolina’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap between residents enjoying economic growth and those struggling to secure jobs, find housing, and pursue educational resources is widening. The funds will provide access to affordable, high-speed internet in every corner of the state and will ensure high-speed internet is equitably adopted and residents are able to access education, healthcare, and business opportunities.

NC Governor Roy Cooper

NC Gov. Cooper: Governor Cooper Releases American Rescue Plan Investment Recommendations. (2021, May 19). Nc.gov. https://governor.nc.gov/news/governor-cooper-releases-american-rescue-plan-investment-recommendations

Broadband, education atop Gov. Cooper’s $5.7B virus aid proposals

Broadband, education atop Gov. Cooper’s $5.7B virus aid proposals – Asheville Citizen-Times. (2021). Newsmemory.com. https://ashevillecitizentimes-nc-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=286829201_1345d7d


‌Also See – Digital Divide WNC Broadband Blog Posts

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Community Development Digital Divide Digital Inequality Fiber NTCA

#FIBERDelivers

WNC Needs To Build Big and Bold Broadband Infrastructure

Why does Western North Carolina need to build big and bold broadband infrastructure?

#FIBERDelivers

  • Fastest internet
  • Best investment
  • More connected education
  • Essential healthcare
  • 5G access
  • More jobs
  • Better gaming
  • Faster streaming
  • Robust teleworking

With a once-in-a-generation infrastructure opportunity ahead of us, now is the time to aim higher, do better and invest in technology built to last. For broadband, in many cases that means fiber. Fiber delivers not just what we need today but also holds promise for what will be needed in the future, as more Americans engage in teleworking, remote learning and telehealth, and as our country pursues 5G superiority.

Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, TCA

#WeAgree at the WNC Broadband Project.

Thanks to the @NTCAconnect – the Rural Broadband Association and their Chief Executive Officer @sbloomfield15 Shirley Bloomfield for advocating for #rural #broadband!

We can remove the #digitaldivide.

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Divide Education Homework Gap

Broadband – Learnings from our Schools

Federal, state monies are flowing to fix our digital divide. Where will these fund be applied? Distance learning with our schools has recognized the homework gap and the needed data to effectively support who and when should receive the priority for broadband.

Reardon, M. (2021, May 10). How the homework gap may actually be the key to solving our digital divide. CNET; CNET. https://www.cnet.com/home/internet/how-the-homework-gap-may-actually-be-the-key-to-solving-the-digital-divide/


‌Also See

the ‘Homework Gap’ Video Will Shock You

Categories
5g Digital Divide Download E-Learning Infrastructure Latency Speed Upload Wireless

Digital Divide

Internet Access & E-Learning

ln this ~8 minute video Mashable’s Rachel Kraus walks through the many ways the digital divide has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic and why thinking about the internet as a freeway could inform how we close it.

The video includes wonderful graphs and images to support the visualization of the technology topics including:

  • Digital divide and the demographic data
  • Kids doing homework in a parking lots
  • Infrastructure
  • Internet Access
  • Government service delivery
  • Download, upload, latency speeds
  • Equipment, home layout
The ‘Digital Divide’ and COVID-19’s Impact on Internet Access | Mashable

Also See

Categories
Buncombe Digital Divide Hotspot Laptop Library

Buncombe Library Laptop or Hotspot Loan

With a Buncombe County library card in good standing, a laptop and/or a hot spot can now be checked-out thanks to grant funding from the State Library of North Carolina through the CARES Act, Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

Call ‘Ask-a-Librarian’

Call the Ask-a-Librarian line at (828) 250-4700 to request a device. There is no charge for the service but charges may be incurred for late returns or losses.

Read More Details About Laptop or Hot Spot Checkout

More details are linked in the articles below.

Barrows, K. (2021, April 18). Buncombe Co. libraries launch laptop loan program in an effort to “bridge digital divide.” WLOS; WLOS. https://wlos.com/news/local/buncombe-co-libraries-launch-laptop-loan-program-in-an-effort-to-bridge-digital-divide

Barrows, K. (2021, April 18). Buncombe Co. libraries launch laptop loan program in an effort to “bridge digital divide.” WLOS; WLOS. https://wlos.com/news/local/buncombe-co-libraries-launch-laptop-loan-program-in-an-effort-to-bridge-digital-divide


WiFi Lot Maps‌

WiFi parking lots are also available.