Bridging the Digital Divide

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Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to assess the digital divide in your community with tools and data, then tell your local story through a Digital Divide Story Map.
  • Identify multiple public and private funding opportunities for delivering projects in disadvantaged communities and learn how to measure results, including cost of service, speed, and access.
  • Apply lessons learned from earlier efforts to develop a strategic, action-driven approach to addressing the digital divide that includes digital access, literacy, and adoption.

More Course Details

A San Diego regional broadband gap analysis revealed that the digital divide disproportionately impacts rural and tribal communities, low-income households, and seniors. Investing billions of public dollars will be a great disruptor to the delivery of high-speed broadband, with the potential to address inequities in telecommunications infrastructure and service models.

As we rely more and more on information and communications technology, planning for adequate access is a "must-have." Broadband becomes essential for people and local economies to compete and thrive when business, public and medical services, education, and civic and social engagements are transacted online. Planners must be engaged in charting the path to more connectivity in diverse communities.

Driven by good planning practices, including data collection, engagement, and policy development, the San Diego region is implementing near-term actions. The Digital Equity Strategy/Action Plan includes creating regional permitting standards; developing a master plan to deploy a fiber ring connecting all public facilities; identifying opportunities to dig once and expand middle-mile infrastructure; and developing a template agreement for fiber sharing.

When these actions are completed, the region will have built the infrastructure needed to keep it at the forefront of the digital revolution, connect communities that have been underserved for decades, and address historic inequities brought about by digital redlining.