We're living through a time with an unprecedented level of broadband infrastructure funding, fueled not only by the American Rescue Plan, but the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Hundreds of community-driven projects are already underway, but finding solid footing amidst these programs, statutes, and evolving rules is difficult.
To help, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance is teaming up with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance for a two-hour livestream event to demystify the landscape. On Wednesday, March 16th, from 2-4pm ET, we're hosting an online conversation to bring together local stakeholders, policy advocates, and funding experts in one place. We're calling it Building for Digital Equity: Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding.
But this isn't your average conference or webinar, with 45-minute panels that make your butt go numb and your eyes glaze over. Oh no. We're aiming for a fast-paced, fun, and most importantly interactive conversation between policy advocates, network builders, local officials, and anyone else interested in learning how we can ensure that the tens of billions in upcoming infrastructure funding goes to solving the connectivity crisis permanently rather than once again disappearing into the pockets of the monopoly Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
The event will feature a mixture of short presentations, panels with Q and A across a bunch of different platforms (so you can watch wherever you want), and trivia with prizes.
The topic list will certainly grow, but right now it includes things like:
- How to advocate to state legislatures to best prepare for the flood of federal money
- What cities can do with Rescue Plan, State and Local Fiscal Recovery, and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Funds
- How to weave digital equity through deployment projects
- How to plan broadband projects to take advantage of the different pots of funding
- Pitfalls to beware of
- How to identify broadband champions in your community
Stay tuned for a full schedule, join links, and updates in the near future!