Following is the full text of a press release issued today by NDIA and Mobile Citizen:
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance Launches Digital Inclusion Trailblazers Together with Mobile Citizen
A Resource for Tracking Local Government Digital Inclusion Leadership and Programs
November 7, 2016 — The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), a unified voice for technology training, home broadband access and public broadband access programs, today launches Digital Inclusion Trailblazers, a resource for tracking local government digital inclusion leadership and programs. With the support of Mobile Citizen, a provider of low-cost mobile internet exclusively to nonprofits, educational entities and social welfare agencies, NDIA has developed a public inventory of local government initiatives across the U.S. that promote digital literacy and broadband access for underserved residents.
“Our goal is to create a powerful advocacy and promotional tool for local, state and national digital inclusion leadership, and an easy-to-access database of examples and contacts for communities interested in taking similar steps themselves,” said NDIA Director Angela Siefer. The inventory includes information on key indicators* of municipal and county government leadership on digital inclusion, along with online references and local contacts.
The inventory is now available at Digital Inclusion Trailblazers: Tracking Local Government Digital Inclusion Leadership.
Local government officials interested in sharing their digital inclusion programs are encouraged to contact [email protected] or [email protected] to complete a short survey. This survey will remain “live” throughout the year so that new results can be added to the inventory as it becomes available.
“In addition to needing access to affordable broadband for their organizations and their constituents, the nonprofits we work with tell us they also need strong partners, and they often involve local government,” said Cassie Bair of Mobile Citizen. “Access to this kind of ‘best practices’ information will not only help us learn from each other, but hopefully work more closely together in closing the digital divide.”
* Here are our key indicators of digital inclusion leadership by a local government:
1) Does your municipal government have at least one fulltime-equivalent staff dedicated to digital inclusion policy and programs, and supported by the municipality’s own revenue rather than third-party grant funding?
2) Does your municipal government convene, and/or materially support, an ongoing digital inclusion planning process for your community?
3) Do officials of your municipal government participate actively in a local digital inclusion coalition?
4) Does your municipal government regularly conduct and publish research on Internet access and use by your residents?
5) Does your municipal government directly fund community digital inclusion programming, i.e. digital literacy training and/or assistance to residents in getting home Internet access?
6) Does your municipal government directly fund one or more public access computer labs?
7) Does your municipal government provide material support to a public or community wireless network deployed in one or more residential neighborhoods, and offering Internet access to residents where they live?
8) (This indicator only applies to cities and towns that are Internet Service Providers, i.e. operate municipal networks.) Does your municipal ISP provides a discounted rate, or other special affordability option, for home Internet service to disadvantaged residents?
About The National Digital Inclusion Alliance
NDIA is a unified voice for local technology training, home broadband access and public broadband access programs. We work collaboratively to craft, identify and disseminate financial and operational resources for digital inclusion programs while serving as a bridge to policymakers and the general public. For more information, visit http://www.digitalinclusionalliance.org.
About Mobile Citizen
Mobile Citizen is a provider of low-cost wireless internet exclusively to nonprofit organizations, educational entities and social welfare agencies. Powered by 4G LTE technology, Mobile Citizen’s internet service is available nationwide for a remarkably low cost. We believe that making the internet available at an affordable price contributes to an engaged public and ultimately a more equitable democracy. For more information, call 877-216-9603 or visit www.mobilecitizen.org.