This week is Digital Inclusion Week, sponsored by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA). As a reader of MuniNetworks.org, you're used to stories about local communities that develop strategies to deploy networks for many reasons, including to improve access to high-quality connectivity. These local communities recognize the necessity of finding a way for members of the community to obtain fast, affordable, reliable Internet access. Access, however, is only one element of digital inclusion. We'll share stories highlighting local efforts to bring every person online with the tools they need to expand their use of the Internet.
Digital Inclusion Week (DIW) is October 7-11, 2019, and with your help we can move closer to our common goal: that all people have access to the Internet and the tools they need to use it. The week, sponsored by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, is an opportunity to raise awareness about digital inequities and nationwide efforts to close those gaps from California to the Carolinas. Digital Inclusion Week seeks to bring people who dedicate their lives to Digital Inclusion together to highlight the impact of their work and to come together to find solutions to close digital divides.
What is Digital Inclusion?
Digital inclusion isn't limited to the inability to subscribe to Internet access because one doesn't live in a place where is isn't available. NDIA applies five necessary elements:
Digital Inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This includes 5 elements:
1) affordable, robust broadband Internet service;
2) Internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user;
3) access to digital literacy training;
4) quality technical support; and
5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration.
Digital Inclusion must evolve as technology advances. Digital Inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional and structural barriers to access and use technology.
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