Access and Inclusion in the Digital Age is a resource guide designed to support communities of all sizes and geographies in advancing their goals for expanding high-speed Internet access and digital inclusion. Six cities (Chattanooga, Tennessee; Gonzales, California; Greensboro, North Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; Springfield, Missouri; and Youngstown, Ohio) collaborated in the development of the guide. With support from ICMA, the National Resource Network (NRN), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), representatives of the six cities communicated regularly about the broadband Internet access and digital literacy initiatives under way in their communities, highlighting major obstacles encountered and key lessons learned.
The guide works on a number of levels:
- Assess – The guide provides national benchmarks and can help stakeholders evaluate the economic and social impacts that the lack of digital access may have on their communities.
- Plan – The guide will also help cities set attainable and effective goals for increasing digital access in their communities.
- Implement and manage performance – The guide will help users achieve successful implementation of their initiatives by highlighting common obstacles or challenges encountered during implementation by other communities.
- Network – The guide will allow users to connect directly with one another to share specific resources or discuss common challenges or opportunities in greater detail.
- Join national dialogue – The guide will not only facilitate direct city-to-city communication in support of local objectives but also promote a broader dialogue in which communities can think strategically about ways that leadership at the local level can address the digital divide nationwide.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?
ICMA will be hosting a free webinar on January 12, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST on behalf of the (NRN) to highlight the newly released broadband resource guide, Access and Inclusion in the Digital Age. In this webinar, two of the participating communities (Springfield and New Orleans) will share local perspectives on the partnership, the resource guide, and their work in moving their communities toward greater broadband access and digital inclusion. Representatives from NRN, ICMA, and NTIA will also share national perspectives on broadband access and resources available to local stakeholders. The webinar will feature:
- DAVID EICHENTHAL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL RESOURCE NETWORK (NRN)
- JELANI NEWTON, DIRECTOR OF SURVEY RESEARCH, INTERNATIONAL CITY/COUNTY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION (ICMA)
- ANDREW SPURGEON, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, BROADBANDUSA AND BROADBAND TECHNOLOGY OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM, NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION (NTIA)
- JENNIFER TERRY, BROADBAND PROJECT MANAGER, & LAMAR GARDERE, CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER, CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
- GREG BURRIS, CITY MANAGER, CITY OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI