Connecting Kodiak has laid out plans to develop a sustainable program to support local digital inclusion. The Kodiak Broadband Working Group has been formed as part of the plan to advance digital inclusion and infrastructure projects around the Kodiak Archipelago. We held our second meeting this week and we discussed the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) that is funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA.) The working group has developed a technology survey that will be part of the SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis. Once the SWOT Analysis is complete the working group will develop an action plan that will be implemented in the technology section of the Kodiak Rural Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The EDA is a very important funding source for projects that will require infrastructure buildout. By developing plans to create an action plan for the CEDS we will maximize the opportunity to receive funding to support the infrastructure buildout needed to bring improved digital inclusion to the villages.
Definition: Digital Equity
Digital Equity is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy. Digital Equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.
Definition: Digital Inclusion
Digital Inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This includes 5 elements: 1) affordable, robust broadband internet service; 2) internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user; 3) access to digital literacy training; 4) quality technical support; and 5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration. Digital Inclusion must evolve as technology advances. Digital Inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional and structural barriers to access and use technology.