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2,000+ Broadband Champions Call for New Vision to Achieve Digital Equity and Affordable Internet

Introducing the First-Ever Digital Equity Bill of Rights
Declaring Access, Affordability and Digital Skills Training a
21st Century Civil Right

Los Angeles and Bay Area – June 25, 2021 – As national and state leaders debate how to invest tens of billions of dollars to advance Internet infrastructure deployment and adoption, the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) announced today that more than 2,000 individuals and organizations are calling for a Digital Equity Bill of Rights to guide policymakers in crafting cost-effective and sustainable solutions to help the millions of Americans who are falling farther behind for lack of Internet access—victims of a “digital cliff” exacerbated by the pandemic.

CETF and the sponsors of the Digital Equity Bill of Rights declare that digital access is a 21st Century Civil Right and must be a cornerstone of national, state and regional legislation and regulations to advance economic justice and prosperity for all.  Learn about the Digital Equity Bill of Rights at www.internetforallnow.org.

“The future of our next generation and America’s ability to compete globally is at stake.  CETF  and our partners are advancing the Digital Equity Bill of Rights as a policy touchstone to inspire national and state leaders to authorize trailblazing investments in broadband deployment and adoption and to enact innovative programs to address historical inequities in access to the Internet and technology,” says Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO of CETF, a 15-year-old non-profit foundation that is a unique organization in the nation focused solely on closing the Digital Divide.

She notes that it is particularly timely to have such a groundswell of champions for Digital Equity when the Federal Communications Commission has launched the temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and will need to consider a longer-term permanent solution in a few months, Congress has negotiated a bipartisan agreement to invest in broadband infrastructure, and the Digital Equity Act of 2021 has just been introduced.  She adds, “We are deeply heartened that more than 2,000 prominent leaders and organizations are backing the Digital Equity Bill of Rights and we invite everyone to add their name and voice support for Digital Equity.”

Read the list of supporters here.  Find a full description of the Digital Equity Bill of Rights here.

DIGITAL EQUITY BILL OF RIGHTS
To insure Digital Equity for all, residents have the right to:

  1.      Broadband that is Sufficient and Reliable.
  2.      Broadband that is Ubiquitous.
  3.      Broadband that is Affordable
  4.      Broadband that Provides Education Opportunity and Supports Digital Skills Proficiency.
  5.      Broadband that Ensures Public Safety and Maintains Peace of Mind.
  6.      Broadband that Improves Quality of Life.
  7.      Broadband that Supports Economic Prosperity.
  8.      Broadband that Attracts Capital Investment.
  9.      Broadband that Supports Innovation and Research.
  10.      Broadband that Empowers and Enables Participation in Democracy.

Leading organizations from education, healthcare, government, community service and civic groups are supporting the Digital Equity Bill of Rights, including California Forward, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, California Parent Teachers Association, California Primary Care Association, California School Boards Association, California Workforce Association, EveryoneOn, human-I-T, Latino Community Foundation, Latinos United For A New America, Los Angeles County Office of Education, National Urban League of Los Angeles, National Urban League of Greater Sacramento, National Urban League of San Diego County, Partners in Care Foundation, San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego Futures Foundation, San José Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation, Silicon Valley Education Foundation, United Ways of California, and United Way of Los Angeles.

About California Emerging Technology Fund (www.cetfund.org)

CETF is a statewide non-profit foundation with 15 years of experience with public-private partnerships to address broadband issues and close Digital Divide in California.  CETF provides grants to non-profit community-based organizations (CBOs) to assist low-income households adopt broadband and become digitally proficient, leads and manages School2Home to successfully integrate technology into teaching and learning with deep parent engagement to close the Achievement Gap in middle schools in low-income neighborhoods, and promotes Digital Inclusion in public policy to achieve Digital Equity.