Advocating for policies, programs, and additional resources to close the digital divide by tackling barriers to broadband access, reliability, and affordability and fostering digital equity and digital literacy.
“Digital Equity is critical for civic and cultural participation, employment and educational opportunities, as well as access to essential services such as healthcare and job training. We believe everyone should have access to the infrastructure, technology, and digital skills necessary to live, learn, and thrive.”
We strongly oppose AB 41, which as amended undermines California’s current video and broadband service franchising process. The bill’s new amendments create a series of insurmountable policy changes that will make it more difficult for communities, localities, and the state to close the digital divide and address the issues of digital equity and access.
In partnership with Compton College, NextGen Policy established a digital equity pilot program called Connect Corps, which is centered around ensuring Angelenos have fast, reliable, and affordable internet service; the devices necessary for digital access; and the digital literacy skills for full economic, societal, and civic participation in today’s digital world.
Requires the California Department of Technology (CDT), in consultation with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Broadband Council, to develop a state digital equity plan and seek all available federal funding to implement the plan. The bill also requires that the plan include, among other things, an identification of the barriers to digital equity faced by specified populations.
Requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to review certain California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) grant applications within a certain timeframe and deem them approved thereafter. The bill exacerbated the challenges of issuing grants by setting up barriers to the comprehensive review and approval of project applications. It also failed to ensure that projects awarded grant dollars deliver on their promise of providing affordable, quality and reliable service.
This resolution urges the passage of critical federal legislation, the Airways to Equity Initiative. This federal bill that would dedicate a substantial portion of future spectrum auction proceeds to endow a mission-driven Digital Equity Foundation that would make investments in digital inclusion and digital literacy programs and projects across the country.
In one-time funding to address barriers to learning; provide grants to faculty to develop online, accelerated learning modules; and create professional development opportunities for faculty and student services professionals. This funding will help close the digital divide and is dubbed "Connect CA Kids".
For additional Broadband Last and Middle-Mile infrastructure
To meet additional needs associated with the revised scope of the statewide Middle Mile program
NextGen is an original partner of the California Alliance for Digital Equity Coalition (CADE), which has collectively helped to mobilize 40+ statewide organizations across various industries to support policy and budgetary actions to close the digital divide, including the passage of key digital equity legislation that will help the state achieve our broadband equity and affordability goals.
Stay up-to-date with our work on Digital Equity.