As an unprecedented level of broadband infrastructure funding is opening up to communities across the country, many local leaders are finding themselves overwhelmed by information and evolving rules. To help demystify broadband and digital equity policy and give officials the grounding they need to undertake projects, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) will host a fast-paced, fun, and interactive virtual gathering on March 16th, 2022. 

Building for Digital Equity: Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding will bring together broadband experts – including local activists, policy advocates, and funding specialists – to offer practical insights on how communities can seize this unprecedented moment to pursue community-driven solutions.

The event will feature a mixture of short presentations and panel discussions, with plenty of space for audience members to ask questions. Topics will include: 

  • How to advocate to states to best prepare for the flood of federal money
  • What cities can do with American Rescue Plan, State and Local Fiscal Recovery, and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Funds 
  • How to weave digital equity through broadband deployment projects 
  • How to build coalitions to effectively reach challenging areas
  • The need for broadband champions

Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at ILSR, said, “This is a really exciting time for broadband investment in the United States. By convening experts across so many different aspects of broadband planning, we’re aiming to empower local leaders to seize the moment and make informed, impactful decisions for their communities. We want attendees to walk away with tangible knowledge, resources, and relationships that will allow them to execute successful community broadband access and use projects.” 

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of NDIA, said, “We want to ensure that community leaders have the tools and resources they need to access digital equity resources coming down the pipeline. The pandemic reinforced the need for digital equity work to be community-driven and to stem from trusted organizations — this training is for them.” 

This event will take place virtually on Wednesday, March 16, from 2-4 p.m. ET.