Partnership with community groups works to improve the state's ranking for broadband coverage.
Digitunity, a national nonprofit organization that advances digital equity through device ownership, and network science agency Visible Network Labs (VNL) are hosting a series of webinars to present findings from a survey on how 10 U.S. cities are working to close the digital divide.
The digital divide is the disparity between those who have ready access to computers and the internet, and those who do not. Studies show that this deep, persistent inequity keeps under-resourced people from achieving economic and educational success.
A critical step towards advancing digital equity is ensuring everyone has access to a large-screen device, such as a desktop, laptop, or tablet. The survey led to the creation of network maps for each city along with geographic information system (GIS) maps. Through this visualization tool, stakeholders and community groups have a better understanding of who is involved and connected.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, it highlighted a longstanding issue in our country, which is that millions of people in America are still unable to benefit from the opportunities the internet provides.
The survey findings explore the relationships across sectors in each city and create opportunities for new or improved partnerships to embrace the power of collective action to achieve digital equity.
Conducted during the summer of 2022, participants of the survey included nonprofits, government offices, businesses, and other organizations in each of the cities that:
- Are currently involved in or leading their city’s digital equity efforts.
- Would like to be involved in digital equity efforts.
- Have resources to provide to advance digital equity.
- Have opinions about or a stake in digital equity in their city.
Having a connected computer and the skills to use it productively is a fundamental need. The issue of the digital divide disproportionately affects communities of color but persists across all boundaries.
Digitunity remains committed to eliminating the technology gap, so everyone can thrive in a digitally connected society. To learn more, please visit www.digitunity.org.
About Visible Network Labs (VNL)
Visible Network Labs is a team of network scientists, developers, data analysts, evaluators, and technologists working together with a shared mission of building society’s capacity to transform and strengthen social connectedness at all levels of life.
VNL focuses on creating new tools, training, and services to make network science and analysis accessible to those who need it. They worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to evaluate their Networks for School Improvement portfolio and guide their strategy moving forward.
They also worked with LA County to strengthen the LA Mamas collaborative health partnership for low-income mothers in the Los Angeles metro area. To learn more, please visit visiblenetworklabs.com.