The Digital Equity Coalition on Wednesday announced the development of nine principles to ensure the equitable distribution of resources from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program for D.C. residents.
The funding, which was included in the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides roughly $100 million in grants to deploy affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service to everyone in the District, particularly those in what some call “digital deserts.”
“The guiding principles developed by DC DEC are a critical step towards fulfilling our mission of achieving digital equity for all D.C. residents,” said Joe Paul, CEO of Byte Back and leader of DC DEC. “Our coalition is committed to working with the D.C. government to ensure that everyone in the District has access to the internet, appropriate technology devices, and digital literacy training necessary to thrive in today’s world.”
The DC DEC, founded earlier this year, consists of nonprofits, Internet Service Providers, foundations, small business owners, and the D.C. Chamber of Commerce.
The nine principles are access and affordability; accessibility for those with disabilities; adoption, education, and training for needy D.C. residents; collaboration and sustainability among D.C. government, private and public sectors regarding the digital plan; community-focus of the digital plan; equity focus of the digital plan; relevance and inclusivity of digital resources; research, evaluation and measurement of digital equity goals; and training and workforce development for D.C. residents to function digitally.
For more information, call Mikael LaRoche at 202-525-3150.