Best Practices

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"Prospective Program Applications, Best Practices and Strategic Approach to Address Priority Consumer Communities"

Program Application Best Practices to be Incorporated Strategic Approach to Foster Collaboration
Rural and Remote Areas

Aggregation of Demand

  • Prospective larger government and other institutional users are systematically identified as possible "anchor tenants" in order to project potential aggregated demand to attract investment in infrastructure.
  • Identification of potential users is conducted by inter-disciplinary teams with support from public and private partners.
  • Prospective aggregated demand is presented to private providers to encourage bidding providing services through a competitive process.
  • A monitoring and evaluation process is established at the beginning of the program.
  • Select a pilot region(s) with significant interest from prospective partners in order to prototype the approach in California.
  • Initiate a focused planning phase to develop the program with partners (including all identification, interviewing and documentation procedures and forms). Determine implementation organization(s) and recruit and train personnel.
  • Implement the planned program to identify prospective anchor tenants and subscribers.
  • Assist region in presenting results to private providers.


  • Rural clinics and hospitals in a given medically- underserved region (including tribal lands) are identified as sites that could benefit from specialized diagnostic and treatment services offered by medical centers. This should include institutions in the region that will be key to the regional medical services system in the future.
  • All elements of the program are developed: (a) identification of requisite broadband connections and equipment for specific telemedicine services; (b) development of service protocols; (c) training of personnel at both rural facilities and medical centers; (d) operation of network operations; and (e) management of the medical services.
  • A business model is developed to generate revenue to ensure long-term sustainability.
  • Work with key stakeholders to develop proposal for FCC, including identification of initial pilot region(s) for statewide network.
  • Work with interested regions with adopted strategic plans, such as the San Joaquin Valley through the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, to plan and develop a regional telemedicine network and integrate with statewide network. This will include development of all program elements, including a sustainable business model, set forth under best practices.
  • Facilitate optimal coordination and leverage between the FCC proposal and partnership region(s), including the San Joaquin Valley, to plan and implement telemedicine program.

Emergency Response and Homeland Security

  • All public safety and emergency responders are connected through broadband to a robust fiber-optic network to ensure real-time video-conferencing and webcasting during emergencies, disasters and pandemics.
  • Rural and remote communities are connected through broadband so that these areas can be used for population evacuations and surge capacity in emergency responses.
  • Meet with all statewide public safety and emergency response agencies to identify plans and potential for broadband connections. Coordinate this effort with Broadband Task Force.
  • Support the State in developing a plan for an emergency response broadband network connected to a fiber-optic backbone, including an assessment of the revenues that could be identified to support the network.
  • Ensure that emergency response agencies are a key part of the "aggregation of demand" methodology in the pilot project and in similar efforts in other regions.
  • If feasible, encourage state to invite competitive bids to a statewide broadband network for emergency response.
Urban Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

Education Pre-School

  • Learning is aligned with brain development of both motor skills and cognitive abilities.
  • Parents are engaged in supporting learning.
  • Individual child development and overall school performance are tracked and results are used to guide and adjust curriculum.
  • Impact of pre-school learning experience is monitored and evaluated through K-12 .
  • Parents are engaged in supporting learning.
  • Organize peer review(s) of curriculum to validate alignment with learning and education research.
  • Require and support incorporation of long-term longitudinal evaluation of impact on educational performance over time and adoption of technology by families of pre-schoolers.
  • Encourage additional program components involving parent engagement and training, low-cost or free computers for home use for students and parents completing an age-appropriate curriculum access, and availability of tech support from trained neighborhood residents.
  • Explore aligning funding for preschools with other place-based initiatives and investments.

Education K-12

  • The principal is an exemplary executive leader-inspiring the faculty and staff, and mobilizing their collective energies to help every student learn. Executive leadership by the principal is pivotal to turning around low performing schools.
  • There is an explicit vision and articulated commitment for high performance that engages and energizes the entire organization.
  • The vision and commitment are supported by the school district administration and governance.
  • There are clear-stated and widely-understood outcomes for students and the school accompanied by accountability metrics.
  • Teachers are committed to academic excellence and are valued by the administration. Innovation to credentialing is developed to ensure qualified teachers are recruited and retained.
  • Parents are engaged in helping children learn and in supporting the school.
  • Technology complements and augments a sound program of improving education performance.
  • There is an understanding of the multitude of challenges and dynamics that can be present at home with an effort by the school to address them or facilitate intervention so as to enable learning.
  • Human services provided by county and city agencies are organized into multi-disciplinary teams around school attendance areas to provide family and neighborhood interventions. Teams work in partnership with neighborhood leaders and the school; and teams are held accountable for improving children and family outcomes
  • There is a support mechanism or "coaching" program that assists principals in developing executive leadership and management skills. This can be augmented with a peer learning group, such as an "academy" for principals in which business executives are a core part of the faculty.
  • Employers are engaged with the school in career experiences to augment classroom learning.
  • Identify major jurisdictions and/or regions where general-purpose local government(s) and school district(s) have reached agreement about coordinated efforts to improve educational performance with a coherent strategy rooted in best practices.
  • Develop a model computer and Internet literacy program and integrate into strategies and curriculum for improving education performance.
  • Complement classroom learning about computers and Internet literacy with career technical education experience and training opportunities for students.
  • Encourage additional program components involving parent engagement and training, low-cost or free computers for home use for students and parents completing an age-appropriate curriculum, and availability of tech support from trained neighborhood residents.
  • Consider identifying model K-5 schools (in disadvantaged neighborhoods) significantly improving educational performance and engaging them in the development of computer and Internet literacy program for K-5 curriculum.
  • Align technology investments in education with community transformation and economic development initiatives.

Education After-School

  • The program provides a safe environment for students after formal school day.
  • The after-school program complements and augments classroom learning, providing an academic curriculum component along with recreation.
  • Computer and Internet navigation literacy is a key learning opportunity and integrated into the curriculum component.
  • The program has broadband connection and service.
  • There is a nutrition component, providing the students with healthy snacks.
  • The program aligns with other interventions and investments in the community.
  • In major jurisdictions and/or regions where the general-purpose local government(s) and school district(s) have reached agreement about coordinated efforts to improve education performance, identify viable after-school organizations interested in integrating computer and Internet literacy into their program elements.
  • Encourage interested after-school organizations to develop a model program element for computer and Internet literacy.
  • Develop and integrate into the program curriculum an evaluation component that incorporates longitudinal tracking of participants' academic performance in school.
  • Facilitate sharing of the model program element and "lessons learned" statewide among other after-school organizations.


  • Libraries throughout the state, particularly in underserved communities, are connected through broadband to the Internet.
  • Computers with broadband access to the Internet are provided for public use in sufficient quantities to meet increasing demand.
  • Training in use of computers and Internet navigation is provided on-site.
  • Classes are available to teach access on-line to information that complements library resources.
  • Explore with the State Librarian and interested foundations the development of a statewide program to increase the availability of computers with broadband Internet access in libraries.
  • Ensure that libraries are a key part of the "aggregation of demand" methodology in the pilot project and in similar efforts in other regions.
  • Integrate augmented broadband services in libraries located in communities in which other investments are being made.

Workforce Preparation and Training

  • Computer and Internet navigation training (in curriculum modules aligned with school and workforce training standards) are available to youth and adults in underserved neighborhoods.
  • There is an opportunity to acquire a computer for the home at no or reduced cost for participants completing a specified training program.
  • Computer refurbishing is coordinated with the training program.
  • Job opportunities are posted or referrals are made at training location.
  • Interested participants are trained to provide tech support for residents.
  • Trained residents are linked to job opportunities through a consortium of employers.
  • Identify successful workforce preparation training programs and determine opportunity for collaboration and synergy with each other.
  • As major local government jurisdictions or regions target resources into specified geographic area for economic revitalization, work with local officials and civic leaders to integrate computer and broadband technology training into the initiative.
  • Incorporate job skills training program for local residents to provide technical support for local small businesses and households .
  • Facilitate partnership with consortia of employers to link trained residents to job opportunities.

Economic Development

  • Broadband technology is an integral component of infrastructure and deployment is facilitated with all major construction projects or programs.
  • Employers, particularly small businesses, have access to broadband service and tech support.
  • Workforce training for computer and Internet navigation literacy are integrated into strategies.
  • As major local government jurisdictions or regions target resources into specified geographic area for economic revitalization, work with economic development leaders (local officials and civic leaders) to integrate computer and broadband technology training into the initiative.
  • Assist economic development leaders in developing strategies to integrate deployment of broadband into major infrastructure construction projects.
  • Assist economic development leaders in aligning workforce preparation and other broadband strategies and best practices in the target areas.

Small Business Growth

  • Small business are encouraged by their associations to access broadband technology.
  • Small business associations provide training and facilitate tech support.
  • Affordable computers and broadband service are secured by associations for their members through joint ventures with companies or programs.
  • Prepare an overview concept document which sets forth rationale, vision, strategy and magnitude of challenge.
  • Develop and implement an outreach program to small businesses in targeted communities or in selected networks to determine potential demand.
  • Monitor and evaluate results of small businesses being connected to broadband service.


  • See statewide approach below.
  • As a leading strategy for increasing use of broadband technology in urban disadvantaged neighborhoods, housing first will be approached as a statewide initiative (see below).
  • Develop a regional roll-out plan after completing steps below.
  • In collaboration with partners: (a) work with companies to secure donations of equipment; (b) develop community-driven websites; and (c) coordinate with skills-training program for tech support.

Emerging Markets

  • See statewide approach below.
  • Explore with community-based organizations the feasibility of prototyping this approach to "emerging markets" in key disadvantaged neighborhoods within regions in which civic leaders are committed to facilitating broadband deployment and adoption.
  • Form a learning community among the neighborhood leaders.
  • Facilitate interaction and collaboration with civic leadership organizations and industry.
People with Disabilities

Universal Design

  • IT companies and broadband providers have official adopted policy to incorporate universal design into all products.
  • Website designers are fully aware of the issues and adequately trained to optimize accessibility for websites.
  • Private sector regularly consults experts on disabilities and leaders in the disabled communities about new product design.
  • Studies are conducted to evaluate results.
  • Explore with established statewide organizations (serving people with disabilities) the feasibility of co-sponsoring yearly(<3 years) roundtable summits with leading companies to discuss and demonstrate universal design, with special attention to website design.
  • Develop a public outreach and education program.
  • Design, conduct and evaluation program to determine market impacts.

Loans for Assistive Technology

  • Low-interest loans are made available to disabled persons for acquiring assistive technology to become more self-sufficient.
  • Training and tech support are provided to participants.
  • Participants are connected to social networks.
  • Continue to explore with interested financial institutions the feasibility of developing a low-interest loan program for assistive technology.
  • Work with established organizations (serving people with disabilities) to design an education and marketing program.
Statewide (Could be launched region by region.)

Emerging Markets

  • Community-based organizations are engaged in convening neighborhood leaders and residents to determine interest in computers and broadband technology.
  • Civic leadership organizations and Industry representatives are involved in the process.
  • Interests of residents regarding applications and potential subscription are documented.
  • Neighborhood representatives in a region are part of a "learning community" to compare and analyze results and determine nature of emerging markets.
  • Results are compiled in a report and presented to broadband providers and IT companies.
  • New community-business partnerships are fostered.
  • Explore with coalitions or consortia of community-based organizations options for identifying and fostering emerging markets in urban disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  • Design an exploration pilot to consult neighborhood leaders, key stakeholders, and industry.
  • Prepare a report on the pilot and develop an action plan for statewide implementation on a region-by-region approach.
  • Determine how to develop a business revenue model that can make program self-sustaining.
  • Implement the action plan for statewide roll-out.
  • Monitor and evaluate results on consumer demand and user adoption in urban disadvantaged neighborhoods to quantify the potential of "emerging markets."
  • Connect community-based organizations to industry partners.


  • Housing supported by public resources is built with broadband infrastructure.
  • Computers are available to residents (either in a computer lab and/or through a program to provide computers in the home).
  • Residents are provided with free or low-cost broadband service.
  • Residents are trained to provide technical support for other residents (adding job skills development to program).
  • Residents are engaged in an e-community, such as the Beehive, to provide information to assist with self-sufficiency.
  • Prepare an overview concept document which sets forth the rationale, vision, strategy, and magnitude of challenge.
  • Develop a model policy for State Agencies to encourage and/or require broadband deployment in construction or renovation of affordable housing supported by State funds, including meeting with and engaging State Agencies in the process to reach consensus (such as Treasurer, TCAC, BTH, HCD, CalHFA, I-Bank).
  • Develop a model policy and ordinance for local governments, including meeting with and engaging statewide organizations in the process to reach consensus (CSAC, LCC, LGC, RDA,APA, CalLAFCO, CalCOG).
  • Engage homebuilders (non-profit and for-profit) in development of the policies.
  • Develop briefing materials and conduct workshops for builders and local government officials to facilitate policy implementation.
  • Establish monitoring processes and evaluation methods to track progress.
  • Publish regular reports on results.


  • See education best practices above.
  • Impact is leveraged and credibility of effort is enhanced by working through coalitions or consortia of educational organizations and programs.
  • Meet with statewide organizations and foundations to determine the opportunities for statewide collaboration to integrate broadband into education improvement initiatives.
  • Develop a collaborative joint-venture if appropriate.

Computer Literacy

  • A standardized computer and Internet navigation literacy curriculum program (with discrete modules related to specific skills) is developed in consultation with employers.
  • The standardized program is recognized and/or adopted by education authorities.
  • The standardized program is promoted to educators, parents and students for incorporation into curriculum.
  • Employers require certification in the standardized program for relevant job positions.
  • Confer with Community College System (CC) and computer and Internet literacy programs (such as the International Computer Drivers License-ICDL) to determine the status of the previous collaboration and other related efforts.
  • Work with CC and State education officials to reaffirm support for a standardized curriculum in general and the ICDL in particular.
  • Convene statewide and regional business organizations to introduce ICDL. Consider a launch with the San Joaquin Valley Partnership based on their Strategic Action Proposal.
  • Engage industry partners to promote and support a standardized computer and Internet navigation program.
  • Develop and integrate into the program curriculum an evaluation component that incorporates longitudinal tracking of participants' academic performance in school.

Foster Care

  • Foster homes (parent and children) are connected to the Internet and to one another and other resources through broadband technology.
  • County and city computers are recycled with an established refurbishing and workforce training program.
  • Refurbished computers are provided to foster parents both to connect parents in a support community and to provide a computer in the home for the foster child.
  • Foster families are provided affordable broadband service.
  • Explore with Health and Human Services Agency, CSAC and LCC the feasibility of developing a statewide program.
  • Develop a program template and training materials, including an inventory of resources.
  • Recruit business partners to assist with computers and training.
  • Organize and convene training program for interested jurisdictions.

Municipal WiFi

  • Experts are convened and consulted to help define best practices for municipal WiFi RFPs and contracts, with a special focus on Digital Inclusion.
  • A substantive sample of WiFi RFPs and contracts in California and across the nation are analyzed and compared.
  • A summary of best practices for RFPs and contracts is compiled with input from local government officials and industry representatives.
  • The summary report is used to brief local officials about best practices.
  • Identify 3-5 respected experts to provide input and counsel.
  • Obtain information from Benton Foundation and other resources about their assessment, analyses and summaries regarding best practices.
  • Explore with coalitions or consortia of community-based organizations and industry associations the feasibility of joint venturing on the project and developing a work plan.
  • Gather and analyze RFPs and contracts from key jurisdictions.
  • Engage CSAC, LCC and local government officials to obtain input and feedback in completing the analysis and preparing the report.
  • Prepare a report on best practices for RFPs and contracts.
  • Organize and convene briefings for local government organizations and officials.

Civic Engagement
(and eGovernment)

  • Broadband technology results in people being more informed and engaged in civic affairs, including voting.
  • Broadband technology significantly improves efficiency of government services and customer (public) satisfaction with government in general.
  • Effectiveness and impact of government initiatives is increased because of promulgation of public-private partnerships and engagement of the public and volunteers.
  • Convene conversations with interested higher education institutions and statewide civic organizations to determine status of existing initiatives or programs.
  • Explore opportunities for collaboration.
  • Develop and implement an action plan for a joint venture initiative if appropriate.
  • Launch the initiative with a major civic and volunteer engagement and mobilization event (such as Net Day).


  • Civic and industry leaders collaborate to increase access to broadband through a signature event that captures public attention and mobilizes resources.
  • Engagement of volunteers on a signature event illuminates possibilities of mobilizing volunteers to tackle other challenges.
  • Volunteer and service organizations mobilize volunteers using broadband technology.
  • Organize and convene a planning committee to brainstorm about and plan a next generation "Net Day" event.
  • In the planning phase, give special attention to determining how traditional service clubs can be energized and become more effective through broadband technology.
  • Sponsor and co-manage the signature event.
  • Develop and implement a volunteer engagement initiative.


Overall Best Practices

  • Program strategies and elements are based on sound research.
  • Program design has been successful or promising in pilot(s) and demonstration project(s).
  • Program incorporates best practices for the program-specific application.
  • Technology investment is part of an overall comprehensive effort specific to the program application to improve outcomes, performance or quality of life for the participants. Technology investments are not made in a vacuum or in isolation of other improvement efforts.
  • Technology investments are part of a comprehensive coherent program and integrated strategies to transform communities.
  • Program is managed by individuals and organizations who are respected by the participants and community being served.
  • Accountability is infused throughout the implementation with monitoring and evaluation accompanied by regular progress reports being part of the management discipline and focus on outcomes.
  • Program managers identify synergies with other initiatives and sponsoring organizations seek opportunities to collaborate.
  • Program sustainability is achieved through entrepreneurial revenue generation and/or dedicated revenue stream.
  • Program managers participate in regular "learning communities" and peer review to identify ways to improve performance and increase impact.

June 2007


Strategic Matrix to Guide Grantmaking PDF (PDF, 183.22 KB)

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