Co-hosted by Silicon Flatirons and Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on the digital divide and digital inequality, and with it, illuminated the broader issue of digital inclusion and internet access as a civil right. Over the last four years, efforts to close the digital divide have been geared largely toward access to networks in rural America, but pandemic related displacement is driving a shift in focus toward affordability in both rural and urban areas. This shift is most clearly evidenced by the recently adopted Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which gives broadband providers the unique opportunity to help fight digital inequality by offering subsidized discounts on robust internet service and connected devices capable of helping low-income Americans connect to classrooms, jobs, and telehealth.
The schools and libraries-focused Emergency Connectivity Fund aims to address a homework gap that transformed into a school-year-long remote learning gap. This event will examine the pandemic’s impact on how we think about the digital divide and digital inequality, the new administration’s approach, and related activity in Congress and at the FCC and other federal agencies.
Mountain daylight time (MDT); convert to local time zone.
Introduction & Opening Remarks
- Amie Stepanovich
Executive Director, Silicon Flatirons
- Ron Wyden
Senator for Oregon, U.S. Senate
Conceptualizing and Navigating Paths to Affordability and Inclusion
- John J. Heitmann — Moderator
Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
- Chris M. Laughlin — Moderator
Associate, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
- Kate Black — Panelist
Acting Chief Policy Advisor, Federal Communications Commission
- Jose Cortes — Panelist
Chair, Regulatory and Government Affairs Committee, National Lifeline Association
- Claire Park — Panelist
Policy Program Associate, New America's Open Technology Institute
- Trinity Thorpe-Lubneuski — Panelist
Senior Director, Internet Essentials, Comcast
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