03/30/22 Affordability Taskforce Meeting
The Affordability Taskforce met on March 30, 2022, and included representatives from multiple sectors interested in resolving the digital divide in the Los Angeles County region. The purpose of this Taskforce is planning for high-quality, sustainable, affordable, and equitable service for households and communities.
The meeting was led by Stephen Cheung, COO & EVP, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, and featured a presentation on the Los Angeles County Internal Services Department’s (ISD) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and their investments to accelerate digital equity countywide promotional campaigns.
The presentation was given by Christine Juarez, Program Administrator, Delete the Divide, who explained that the main objective of the initiative is to empower, train, certify and connect the youth, young adults and small entrepreneurs of the county that are impacted by the digital divide.
An estimated 822,000 Los Angeles County households may be eligible for Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) and ACP benefits. The Los Angeles County CEO identified $3 million in one-time funding to promote EBB and ACP adoption; phase one launched in December 2021 and included media buys, press releases, virtual training sessions, print and digital marketing, text messaging, telephone calls, email marketing, and a call center.
The results were that the FCC reported a 43% increase in EBB enrollments during the month of December. Los Angeles County now has the most enrolled households among counties within California.
ISD plans to launch a countywide promotional campaign for ACP beginning in April 2022 to educate all eligible L.A. County residents about the benefits of ACP and encourage them to enroll.
Other updates included:
A brief discussion on merging the Affordability and Digital Literacy and Devices Taskforces to create a multi-pronged Adoption promotion effort
The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) is working on a Digital Divide Toolkit to provide to health centers and other Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) across the country.
A Roadmap for Affordable Broadband: Lessons from the EBB by USC Annenberg: https://arnicusc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Policy-Brief-final.pdf
The “2nd Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling” with the question set about the Adoption Account: https://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M455/K677/455677087.PDF
The California Office of Digital Innovation team wanted to better understand the mental models of Californians applying for this EBB benefits, and identify what specific pain points and blockers might prevent eligible individuals and households from successfully applying for the program. https://digital.ca.gov/blog/posts/increasing-access-to-the-emergency-broadband-benefit-by-listening-to-californians/
CPUC’s Local Agency Technical Assistance grant program for eligible pre-construction work that facilitates last-mile broadband infrastructure projects: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/industries-and-topics/internet-and-phone/broadband-implementation-for-california/local-agency-technical-assistance
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Planning for high-quality, sustainable, affordable, and equitable service for households and communities.