NDIA’s Amy Huffman Celebrates Progress in Home State
North Carolina just launched its Office of Digital Equity and Literacy – the first ever in the United States.
The office and Governor Roy Cooper’s plan to close the digital divide is set to connect 98 percent of North Carolina households to high-speed internet infrastructure, support 80 percent of North Carolina households’ subscriptions to affordable service, and allow 100 percent of households with children to subscribe.
“North Carolina is once again showing the nation its leadership in the broadband and digital equity space,” said Amy Huffman, policy director for the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA). Before starting at NDIA in April, Huffman led digital inclusion initiatives for the Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO) within the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT).
“From the eNC Authority to the Broadband Infrastructure Office’s excellent work including managing the GREAT grant program – the new Office of Digital Equity and Literacy builds on a history of sustained, bold leadership,” said Huffman.
Gov. Cooper sees digital equity as a priority in the state and even more so since the pandemic. “The pandemic showed us more than ever the importance of digital equity in North Carolina,” said Gov. Cooper. “Creating the Office of Digital Equity and Literacy will enable us to accelerate the critical work of bringing all North Carolinians up to speed with the digital society so they can live more equitable, prosperous, educated, and healthier lives.”
Jeremy Collins will lead the Office of Digital Equity and Literacy, with Nate Denny as deputy secretary. The office will expand the digital inclusion work the BIO developed over the past five years under Jeff Sural’s leadership. The new Office of Digital Equity and Literacy will work closely with the BIO and continue the work Amy Huffman started prior to joining the NDIA team. NCDIT’s expanded Broadband and Digital Equity division will execute Gov. Cooper’s plan to invest $1.2 billion in American Recovery Plan funds toward digital equity by 2025.
“I’m thrilled that my home state continues to push the envelope of what’s possible, will be the first in the nation with an Office of Digital Equity and Literacy, and that Governor Cooper is elevating the issue of digital equity to the level of importance it deserves,” said Huffman.