North Carolina, along with five other new state members, has joined the National Telecommunication and Information Agency’s State Broadband Leaders Network. The goal of this group is to gather data from state leadership about about broadband challenges and efforts, to create information tools and to shape discussions about the promotion of broadband at the state level. To learn more, please visit BroadbandUSA.
Eric Boyette, the Secretary of the NCDIT, announced the implementation of two new state-level broadband indices, to be used to track broadband access, adoption and the digital divide across North Carolina. To learn more about this important development, visit the NCDIT website.
The ReConnect to Technological Opportunity initiative of the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) has announced a new grant program, Building a New Digital Economy in NC (BAND-NC). This program will provide grants of up to $5000 to assist counties across the state in developing plans to improve broadband access and usage in their communities. As IEI director Leslie Boney points out, “just 59 percent of people with access to broadband are subscribing to it. And with lower rates of adoption in rural counties and among lower income families, if we don’t plan now to include people digitally, those people and their communities will get further and further behind.” Digital inclusion plans supported by this program will shape strategies to enhance digital literacy, improve broadband affordability, and expand internet use across a range of services. To learn more, visit WRAL TechWire.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel discusses what needs to happen if we are to solve the complex problem of rural broadband access in this CNET interview. Rosenworcel explains the need for improved broadband access mapping; the importance of high-speed internet for economic development in rural communities; and role of federal subsidies to providers in funding critical rural infrastructure. To learn more, visit CNET.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) BroadbandUSA program will host a webinar on the role of states in expanding broadband access, on Wednesday, 19 February 2020, at 2 pm. Webinar speakers will include Kathryn de Wit, Manager, Broadband Research Initiative, Pew Charitable Trusts; Deana Perry, Executive Director, Georgia Rural Broadband Program; and Crystal Ivey, Broadband Director, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. To learn more about digital-divide innovations underway in two of North Carolina’s neighboring states, and to register for this webinar, visit BroadbandUSA.
The Institute for Emerging Issues ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity initiative is hosting a working forum for interested North Carolinians. This forum will provide participants with a chance to explore with others what their communities can do to leverage high-speed Internet in an equitable way. To learn more about the program and registration for this forum, visit the IEI ReCONNECT site.
For many in the U.S., access to internet service, when available, remains unaffordable. Increasingly, though, internet service providers are offering internet packages at lower prices to meet the needs of low-income individuals and families. Read more….
ReConnect to Technological Opportunity, a project of North Carolina’s Institute for Emerging Issues, leverages the skills and resources of five communities across the state (including Asheville) to shape strategies that bridge the digital divide, to promote both economic and community development. To learn more, see IEI’s ReConnect to Technological Opportunity.