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06/07/22 Broadband Adoption Taskforce Meeting

SUMMARY:

The Broadband Adoption Taskforce met on June 7, 2022. The meeting included representatives across multiple sectors and was led by Amy Cortina Mathias, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, UNITE LA and Paulina Chavez, Senior Director, Programs & Special Projects, EveryoneOn.

Updates were given on the work occurring between taskforce meetings, included the new name and focus of this taskforce. After a successful year of diving deep into barriers of adoption, LA DEAL merged its former Affordability + Digital Literacy and Devices Taskforces into a new taskforce on Broadband Adoption, and utilizing all three strategies to promote adoption. The mission of the new Broadband Adoption Taskforce is to identify and support opportunities to remove barriers and increase adoption of broadband; including promoting affordable rate programs and subsidies, and the provision of suitable devices and culturally relevant and age-appropriate digital skills training.

There also were updates given on the annual California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) grants include deadlines.

Paulina Chavez, Senior Director, Programs and Special Projects gave an overview of a three-part report on the third part of their State of Digital Equity Report.

Abi Waldrupe, Digital Navigator Manager and Kristi Zappie-Ferradino, Director of Programs and Initiatives of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) delivered a presentation on their digital navigator model. The model was born out of community conversations in 2020, when the pandemic changed how people worked and digital equity was more critical than ever.

Sophia Li, MPP, a student at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs program, gave a presentation on her capstone project on the digital divide and some recommendations specifically around the digital navigator program that she has for the Taskforce.

Specifically, that people are frustrated with the California Lifeline Program and have difficulty accessing its benefits. Also, there are challenges in gathering data from people that may benefit from digital navigator services because they are often too busy to answer questions or not able to be in online focus groups due to time and technology issues. Li recommended in-person focus groups to hear first-hand on the issues people face.

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Updated: Jul 11

Identifying and supporting opportunities to remove barriers and increase adoption of broadband; including promoting affordable rate programs and subsidies, and the provision of suitable devices and culturally relevant and age-appropriate digital skills training.

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