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RECAP: LA DEAL Information Gathering

COVID-19 transformed business practices across all sectors as we sheltered from the virus, resulting in economic impact, innovations, and lessons learned. In particular, we learned that having access to quality internet services is as essential as having water and power.

LA Digital Equity Action League (LA DEAL) actively seeks to understand where the challenges and opportunities lie to address the digital divide, especially for households with limited or no connectivity. As part of our research and discovery, we launched a sector-specific listening tour. As a result, we heard from the business, technology, internet service providers, health, education, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors, who shared what they are currently doing, what challenges they have, how the Consortium could support their efforts, and what other stakeholders should be at the table.

A series of common trends, needs, and issues associated with the digital divide emerged across sectors during the first convenings. The most prominent were access and equity issues impacting low-income households, digital literacy, and quality gaps (broadband and hotspots strength, infrastructure capacity). The digital divide also unveiled sector-specific challenges:

  • Education

Digital literacy prevented parents and students from understanding schoolwork; universities had to provide virtual labs; hotspots are short-term solutions; devices distributed to families without internet access didn’t always have the functionality needed to complete assignments; broadband strength was an issue for households with multiple students.

  • Health Care

Transitioned to serve patients via Telehealth, but patients and community clinics experienced digital literacy and broadband connection issues; the scheduling of vaccine appointments online heightened equity issues for households without a broadband connection even more.

  • Nonprofit

Distributed devices and equipment to students and families; through this process, digital literacy issues emerged, including the need for culturally competent materials; inequity was front and center as households depended on internet access to schedule Covid-19 vaccine appointments.

  • Technology

Lifted the importance of building infrastructure by adopting innovative partnerships with SpaceX to use satellites and others.

  • Business

Low-income households experience broadband access issues, raised a series of recommendations to broaden reach, including supporting policy, communications, and advocacy efforts.

The LA DEAL continues to engage diverse stakeholders to discover needs and collectively identify solutions to address the digital divide impacting Los Angeles County to bring us into the 21st Century.

Thank you to the following partners who participated in the initial phase of information gathering:

● Los Angeles Community College District

● California State University, Los Angeles

● California State University, Long Beach

● California State University, Poly Pomona

● Southern California College Access Network

● LA/OC Regional Consortium

● United Way of Greater LA

● Los Angeles County Office of Education

● LACOE Education Foundation

● California Community Foundation

● First 5 LA

● Bank of America


● Southern California Edison

● Hackman Capital

● LA Metro

● AltaMed Health Services

● UCLA Health Services

● Children’s Hospital

● Cedars Sinai

● Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County

● Hospital Association of Southern California

● LA Care

● City of Hope

● Valley Presbyterian Hospital

● Grifols

● Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors

● Alliance for a Better Community

● Engaged Parent Academy

● Child360

● East LA Community Corporation

● EveryoneOn

● Inner City Struggle

● South East Los Angeles Collaborative

● YMCA Metropolitan Area of Los Angeles

● Great Public Schools Collective Action Coalition (40+ participating CBOs)


● Verizon

● Starry

● SpaceX

● Charter/Spectrum

● Wander

● T-Mobile

● Jobs Vision Success (JVS)

● JA of Southern California

● LA Tech

● Cornerstone


● Fernish

● HopSkipDrive


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Updated: Sep 2, 2021

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