CBAN Spring Forum: Digital Equity Matters
On April 4, 2023, over 50 CBAN members gathered in person for an afternoon of learning, sharing, and networking. It was the first time our Spring sessions focused heavily on digital inclusion, and there were many great conversations around what communities can do to ensure that no one gets left behind.
When CBAN was founded five years ago, the "big" conversation for most of us centered around infrastructure - bringing reliable, high speed internet access to all. Now that work is underway to connect the entire country, it's time for all of us to think about what happens next.
As the national conversation around broadband evolves, the dialog is being increasingly framed around three pillars of success - Access, Affordability, and Adoption. Our Spring Forum was an opportunity for conversation around each of these and what they mean for you.
Supporting those who need support to afford and develop new skills will be paramount to any future prosperity digital access can start to drive. Our Spring Forum was a great place to start for many of our members, and a great place to share early efforts and get feedback!
NOTE: We had audio issues with our session recordings in some places, but we were able to dub in the content. We apologize and promise to get better. 🙂
CBAN's Brianna Dillavou and Jon Willow offer an overview of efforts in Iowa and around the country to increase digital adoption through skills training and lowering the barriers to participating in the digital economy, including a Q&A on creating digital equity programs in your community.
The Iowa ITQ process sets the priority for future broadband funding as federal monies are released. While the ITQ window has closed, how the process worked informs us about how future broadband funding may be prioritized and the role that communities will play in this process. In this session, our panel dissects the ITQ process from the perspectives of communities, providers, and unserved rural residents.
Discussion Leader - Todd Kielkopf, CBAN
- Brittany Morales, Iowa Communication Alliance
- Ryan Arment, rural Madison County resident
- Curtis Dean, CBAN
Affordable access to broadband is an essential element to achieving digital equity. This session focuses on the Affordable Connectivity Program, which currently benefits 17 million US households with a monthly broadband subsidy. Our panelists look at the national statistics of ACP adoption; discuss what it takes to implement the ACP from the provider’s perspective and why some small providers have passed on the program; and what efforts need to be made to keep the ACP in place after initial funding runs out.
Discussion Leader - Jon Willow, CBAN
- Ry Marcattilio, ILSR
- Renee Knoop, Consortia Consulting
- Sarah Claycomb, GRM Networks