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Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Digital Literacy GREAT Program Jeff Sural North Carolina

Nation’s First Office of Digital Equity and Literacy

Established by NC Governor Roy Cooper

Closing the digital divide in North Carolina can only happen with collaboration from:

  • Federal
  • State
  • Regional Councils of Governments
  • Counties
  • Cities
  • Communities

The WNC Broadband Project and the Digital Literacy Network are happy to hear this announcement from Governor Roy Cooper.

“The pandemic showed us more than ever the importance of digital equity in North Carolina,” said Gov. Cooper. “Creating the Office of Digital Equity and Literacy will enable us to accelerate the critical work of bringing all North Carolinians up to speed with the digital society so they can live more equitable, prosperous, educated and healthier lives.”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper

NC Office of Digital Equity and Literacy

The office of Digital Equity and Literacy will execute Gov. Cooper’s plan to expand digital literacy offerings and partnerships across North Carolina, as well as lead the Digital Equity and Inclusion Collaborative and promote the NC Digital Inclusion Playbook for local municipalities.

Read More

Governor Cooper Establishes Nation’s First Office of Digital Equity and Literacy | NCDIT. Nc.gov. Published 2021. Accessed July 4, 2021. https://it.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2021/07/01/governor-cooper-establishes-nations-first-office-digital-equity-and-literacy

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Affordability Assurance Wireless Communication Computer Basics Digital Equity Digital Literacy Hotspot Internet Phone Service

Smartphone

Digital Literacy

An Assurance smartphone is free for qualified individuals it comes with 10 Gigs of of monthly internet data for a laptop hotspot.

Periodically the Assurance phone tent can be found in Asheville.

Assurance Wireless Phone Tent in front of the Department of Health & Human Services Building on Asheville’s Cox Avenue (across from the bus station)

If you qualify, Assurance Wireless periodically sets-up a tent in Asheville and provides a free smartphone for life’s needed communication from friends, family, employers, and more.

  • Phone calls
  • Text messages
  • Weather forecast checks
  • Web search
  • Video content
  • Laptop hotspot
  • Telehealth

Additionally, if you are 60+ years old and you are a Buncombe County resident… and have questions or need help in using an Android or Apple smartphone for employment or careers, please contact a member of the Digital Literacy Network for assistance.

A member of our tech team will setup an appointment in-person or virtually.

Assurance Wireless Phone

Learn More About Assurance Wireless Phone
https://www.assurancewireless.com

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Advocacy Affordability Broadband access Digital Equity Digital Literacy NC BIO North Carolina www.DigLit.net

Achieving Digital Equity Is Within Our Reach

Gov. Roy Cooper proposes investing $1.2 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds in these key pillars necessary to close the digital gap:

  • Infrastructure and access
  • Affordability
  • Digital literacy. 

By investing in these key pillars, North Carolina can achieve digital equity for all.

The Digital Divide | Broadband Infrastructure Office. (2021). https://www.ncbroadband.gov/digital-divide

Digital Equity Resources

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Advocacy Broadband access Broadband as a Utility Broadband in WNC Community Development Digital Divide Digital Equity Economic Development

Bridging A Digital Divide

High speed internet should be available to everybody in Western North Carolina.

It is critical to economic opportunity, job creation, education, telehealth, and civic engagement.

Broadband Call-To-Action

Your call-to-action should be:

  1. Advocate for the timeless investment of fiber to replace copper and cable. It is likely the power company owns your neighborhood telephone poles and a right-of way is needed.
  2. Steward the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program to your network. A Federal Subsidy of up to $50 per month is available. Additionally, a one time $100 per household for hardware.
  3. Provide the NC Broadband Office with information about the lack of dependable broadband at your location or a friend or neighbor.

Bridging The Digital Divide For All Americans. Federal Communications Commission. https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-initiatives/bridging-digital-divide-all-americans

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ART Bus Asheville Broadband access Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Mobile Data

ART Bus Station WiFi

As a regular City of Asheville bus rider, Marc Czarnecki is happy to see that the ART (Asheville Redefines Transit) bus station now has free public Wi-Fi. Riding the bus now really requires an individual to check the schedule frequently. There are multiple different scheduling tools available online for planning your bus trip departure time, which bus to get on, arrival time, etc.

Some of Marc’s smartphone apps to assist in effectively riding the ART bus public transportation include the following. They can now be downloaded at the bus station.


ART Website Transit Maps and Schedules

City of Asheville ART Transit Maps and Schedules

Transit Mobile App

Transitapp.com

Google Maps

Google Maps – Transit & Food – App Store

FCC Speedtest Results

When any individual travels, their time is important. Understanding how internet the ART Bus Station public Wi-Fi is listed below with a screen shot of the speedtest results using the FCC Speedtest App.

If you are in a hurry at the Asheville ART Bus Station; I would not consider the above results acceptable to quickly download apps and check bus statuses.

Charge Your Phone

The newly updated interior bus lobby does have a few plugs to charge your mobile device if needed.

Helpful WNC Broadband Links

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Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Event

WNC Digital Inclusion Planning Summit

When: January 13th from 10:00 – 12:00 p.m.

Learn about what’s going on in your county, state, country, and how you can be a part of a more digitally equitable North Carolina.

We will start the planning at this event, so share with all your interested partners in digital equity.

Contact Sara Nichols at sara@landofsky.org for more information.

Digital Inclusion Event Registration

This project is made possible by the generous support of BAND-NC Institute for Emerging Issues.

BAND-NC, Building a New Digital Economy in North Carolina

Also See

Digital Inclusion DANCE
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Asheville Asheville City Schools Broadband in WNC Buncombe Digital Equity Economic Development Education Henderson Madison Speed Test Transylvania

Connect K-12

Classrooms no longer have chalk boards. Children do have technology everywhere. Technology requires bandwidth. Digital tools are important for tech-infused educational growth. Adequate high-speed internet is needed for our schools future.

The homework gap is personified when there is digital inequality.

Broadband Speeds / Student

To enable digital learning in every classroom every day, the FCC recommends 1Mbps per student.

How do our bigger K-12 compare?

Connect K-12 has some current, free data for review:

Connected Nations Podcast

Learn more about digital equity for our WNC children.

Listen to this Connected Nations podcast.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/connected-nations-podcast/id1508008735#episodeGuid=Buzzsprout-6692588

Advocate for Broadband

The Western North Carolina is advocating for broadband for all residents.

Digital inclusion is critical to our economic future!

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Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Digital Literacy Education

Digital Literacy

Computers & K-12 Students

The American Library Association (ALA) defines digital literacy as:

the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills

American Library Association

The heartbeat of digital literacy is broadband applied in classrooms on different computer hardware tools including smartphones, tablets, gaming devices, and desktop computers.

This classroom environment prepares young adults to become a digital citizen or individual who applies the internet to participate responsibly in social and civic activities.

Examples of Digital Citizenship

  • Using a computer, mouse or trackpad, audio, etc.
  • Avoiding harassment
  • Critical thinking
  • Ethical use of content

At the Western North Carolina Broadband Project, we advocate for digital inclusion and equity of broadband for all.

Share your digital citizenship stories by emailing digcit@wncbroadband.org.

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Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology Digital Divide Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Economic Development Education Policy Telehealth YouTube

Broadband, Biden

Broadband Breakfast Live

The election is behind us. What does the future of broadband have in the future with the Biden Administration?

Listen to the discussion on broadband and the FCC policy future:

  • Drew Clark – Telecom Attorney, The CommLaw Group; Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast, Washington DC-Baltimore Area
  • Scott Wallsten – President and Senior Fellow at Technology Policy Institute, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Mark Jamison, Ph.D. – Research & Education Director, Gainesville, Florida
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, November 11: Broadband and the Joe Biden President-Elect Administration
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Asheville Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Education Relevancy

Digital Equity

What comes to mind Philip?

Digital equity is ensuring students have equal access to technology and that students and their support network receive the training necessary to use the technology toolsets.

Philip provides a shout-out to CiCi Weston, Executive Director of the Christine W Avery Learning Center – http://cwalearningcenter.com/ for their support of inner-city youth, fatherless homes. They went above and beyond to get hotspots for children that needed the internet connectivity.

Also, Philip mentions the Francine Delany school where Chromebooks and additional WiFi Hotspots were provided to do homework.