NDIA is proud to have facilitated digital inclusion visits for newly appointed FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks on Friday, March 1. After he attended a forum on the rural and urban broadband digital divide hosted by U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, the Commissioner attended a meeting of the Kansas City Coalition for Digital Inclusion, sharing why digital equity is important to him. He stated “Who’s job is it to make sure everyone has internet at home? It’s my job. It’s our job.”
Commissioner Starks then visited Connecting For Good’s NE Wyandotte County Computer Center. The staff explained to the Commissioner that the kids come in whenever they can, that food is delivered for the kids by a partner organization and that the kids stay until someone is at home for them. The staff also explained how Connecting For Good provides free wifi via a mesh network in multiple buildings in the Kansas City area and that this service (theoretically) should qualify Connecting for Good as a Lifeline Broadband Provider. (It does not because currently FCC policies keep this from being possible). While at Connecting for Good, the Commissioner saw where Connecting For Good’s computer refurbishing occurs and heard about how the need is greater than their inventory can currently cover.
Within the first 30 days of being in office, Commissioner Starks visited with digital inclusion practitioners. We have a new champion.