Senator Murray first introduced the Digital Equity Act in 2019. NDIA has been encouraging passage of the Digital Equity Act since then. The pandemic created such awareness of digital inequities and the solutions that we now have a new version of the Digital Equity Act with a Republic co-sponsor. The understanding of the value of technology as absolutely necessary tool has us closer to realizing real resources to support digital inclusion work.
The three co-sponsors of the Digital Equity Act, Senators Murray, Portman, and King, will be advocating for key provisions of the bipartisan Digital Equity Act to be included in any forthcoming infrastructure package. And that, my friends, is jump up and down kind of progress.
The Digital Equity Act includes the following:
- Building Capacity within States through Formula Grants: An annual $125 million formula grant program for all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to fund the creation and implementation of comprehensive digital equity plans in each State.
- Spurring Targeted Action through Competitive Grants: An annual $125 million competitive grant program to support digital equity projects undertaken by individual groups, coalitions, and/or communities of interest.
- Supporting Research and Evidence-Based Policymaking: Tasks NTIA with evaluating digital inclusion projects and providing policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels with detailed information about which projects are most effective.