The digital divide has typically been described as the separation of those who can afford and benefit from the internet and digital technologies and those who do not. Digital equity is the status of all people, particularly racially and financially marginalized groups, having the information and communications technology needed to fully participate in modern society. Digital inclusion is the practices of realizing and addressing these inadequacies.
According to the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, there are 5 elements to digital inclusion:
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program designed to assist people to obtain affordable internet service during the pandemic. Eligible households can receive a discount of up to $50 per month for broadband service. The start date for this program is May 12, 2021. Consumers can apply in three different ways.
1) Visit GetEmergencyBroadband.org to learn about eligibility requirements and apply online.
2) Contact your participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
3) Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with proof of eligibility to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742
Back to School Campaign materials.
Check out the EBB Program Enrollments and Benefits Tracker! 2.7 Million households have signed up for the program nationwide.
Libraries can help their patrons learn about this program by registering to become an Outreach Member. (Scroll down to the middle of the page and fill out the application to subscribe to email updates and more.)
The Outreach Toolkit provides helpful links and handouts to make disseminating information easier. Below are other quick links.
Factsheet Handout (8.5x11")
4 Card Factsheet Handout (front and back)
The Emergency Connectivity Fund is a $7.17 billion program that will help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period. Eligible schools and libraries can apply for financial support to purchase connected devices like laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity received or delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 to meet unmet needs for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons during the COVID-19 emergency period. Sign up here to receive program updates and information about future training sessions.
A second window for enrollment will be open from September 28 through October 13.
For more information, including how to apply, visit emergencyconnectivityfund.org.
Digital Navigators are people trained to address digital inequity issues. They help individual community members with accessing internet connectivity at home, obtaining affordable devices, and developing digital skills.