Some 18 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet in any form, presenting significant economic and health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. NDIA has created a State-wide COVID-19 Digital Inclusion Response page, and a Local Government COVID-19 Digital Inclusion Response page to document resources, responses and strategies being used to help people get, and stay connected in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pages span three categories:
- Internet Access: expansion of free public WiFi and information about free and low cost internet options from wireline and mobile providers.
- Device Access: funding, computer refurbishers, and public agency distribution plans.
- Tech Support: assistance hotlines and apps, digital navigator programs and online digital literacy training.
These pages will act as reference points for state and local governments in being able to view what others are doing in response to digital inclusion needs during the pandemic, and use that information to revise, update or initiate their own strategies for getting their communities connected. These pages will be updated often as additional responses surface. Also available is NDIA’s Free and Low-Cost Internet Plans page, which a number of states have posted for finding affordable internet access options.
In addition to many state and local governments moving to implement their own response strategies, the FCC has published its Keeping American’s Connected pledge.
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