Local Government COVID-19 Digital Inclusion Response

State Government ResponsesCOVID-19 Resources

The onset of a global health pandemic has put a spotlight on digital inclusion. NDIA is documenting local government initiatives to encourage other local governments to address access to the internet (particularly at home), personal computers and tablets, and tech assistance. These initiatives are in addition to the FCC’s Keeping American’s Connected Pledge.

This page details local government initiatives across three categories:

Internet Access

  • Expansion of free public wifi (boosting wifi at public buildings parking lots, nearby housing, etc.)
  • Information about free and low cost internet options from wireline and mobile providers

Device Access

  • Funding (states that are opening and expanding grant programs for COVID-19)
  • Computer Refurbishers (states that are coordinating with state-wide computer refurbishers)

Tech Support 

  • Tech assistance hotlines, digital navigator programs (1:1 device, connectivity and tech support)
  • Online digital literacy training (live and pre-recorded lessons)

State-wide resources may be found here. Also see our Free and Low-Cost internet Plans. It should be noted that unless it is specifically identified, utility shut off orders do not protect broadband subscriptions.

This list will be updated as more local governments develop digital inclusion strategies. If you have additional information, please send to miles@digitalinclusion.org.

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“The absence of broadband internet connections in so many American homes, at a time when we need to stay in our homes, is a public health crisis in its own right… People without online tools to take care of their basic needs at home are not going to stay at home.”

Angela Siefer
Executive Director
NDIA

This list will be updated as more local governments develop digital inclusion strategies. If you have additional information, please send to miles@digitalinclusion.org.

 

Austin

New York City

  • The NYC Education Department is making 300,000 internet-enabled iPads available to the highest-need students via an online survey (available in ten languages) or hotline: 718-935-5100 (press 5).

Philadelphia

Los Angeles

Chattanooga

Kansas City

  • The City of Kansas City, MO. is partnering with Connecting for Good to produce refurbished computers, laptops, tablets, monitors and other electronics through the City’s Digital Upcycling Program. The program prioritizes: (1) Kansas City residents who have completed a course in digital life skills; (2) community learning centers; and (3) public-private partner organizations implementing programs in support of the City’s Digital Equity Strategic Plan.

City of Portland

  • The City’s Office for Community Technology has developed an Action Tracker in order to facilitate the sharing of activities, policy updates, programs and services that are available online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic amongst its Digital Inclusion Network (DIN) members.
  • Portland has created a Resource Sheet as a platform for sharing information relating to connectivity, devices, online training programs, public policy initiatives and non-profit support and funding amongst its Digital Inclusion Network members.

Seattle

  • The City of Seattle has updated the Office of the Mayor’s COVID-19 response page to include information on low-income internet offerings and changes to wired and wireless service offerings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Louisville

  • The City of Louisville has created a free internet for students page outlining free internet offers to families with students by ISPs operating in the area.

Charlottesville

San Antonio

  • The City of San Antonio has announced a plan to invest over $27 million to address the digital divide in the city