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Power Station

Apr 4, 2022

In 2022, we live largely online and the future looks increasingly digital. It is fundamental to how we work, communicate, consume news, and connect to banking, health care and governmental services. But access to the internet is not equal or even guaranteed. Many rural and tribal lands lack broadband and in some urban neighborhoods, internet connections are spotty, and internet plans are unaffordable. These barriers constitute digital redlining, the marginalization of low-income communities by policy makers, internet providers and telecommunication companies. The pain of exclusion magnified during the pandemic, when students with limited broadband were unable to participate in their schooling. The movement for digital equity has been growing at the local level for decades and Angela Siefer has been at its forefront. As executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance she collaborates with local champions of digital access: nonprofits, libraries, schools, and mayors to advocate for inclusivity. NDIA’s success is reflected in the passage of the 2021 Infrastructure Bill, which includes $65 billion for broadband and $2.75 billion for digital equity. NDIA is now teaming up with these local champions to keep equity at the center of a digital transformation.