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Solutions to reducing gaps in digital literacy, broadband access and technology use started at the grassroots level. Having been through two federal programs in the United States, we now have top down attention and approaches being created. We learned from BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunities Program) the necessity of working through trusted organizations and individuals to increase information technology skills and home broadband adoption. Local approach is essential.
Institutionalizing digital inclusion brings necessary attention and funding. Seattle and Minneapolis have staff dedicated to leading and coordinating digital inclusion efforts. Austin and Chicago are investing local resources in digital inclusion. The Google Fiber being deployed in Kansas City has resulted in funding and community collaborations focused upon making sure all residents benefit from the high-speed network in Kansas City. One of Broadband Rhode Island’s strategies has been to integrate digital inclusion into existing programs and initiatives. They have successfully had broadband data included in an open data warehouse, digital literacy included in the state’s adult education program, and broadband infrastructure and adoption data included in a statewide planning process.