Digital Equity is defined by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance as condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy. Digital Equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services. Digital Equity requires deployment and adoption of information technologies enabled by access to broadband, a generic term for high-speed Internet infrastructure, including wireline and wireless technologies.
To insure Digital Equity for all Californians, residents have the right to:
- Broadband that is Sufficient and Reliable: Speeds must be sufficient to meet the growing demand and reliance for access to education, government, public safety, economic prosperity and healthcare via high-speed access to the Internet. The determination of threshold speeds for high-speed Internet infrastructure should by performance-based to support distance learning, telehealth, and remote working by a majority of households online simultaneously with an increasing need for symmetrical network speeds.
- Broadband that is Ubiquitous: Sufficient and reliable broadband access must be available everywhere in the state, from the most rural areas, including tribal lands, to the most populated urban areas, including all low-income neighborhoods. Public broadband investments should be prioritized to connect entire communities and address digital redlining in historically unserved and underserved communities.
- Broadband that is Affordable: Internet service plans must be affordable for all Californians, regardless of geographic location or household income.
- Broadband that Provides Educational Opportunities and Supports Digital Skills Proficiency: Residents must have access to opportunities to develop needed skills to thrive in a digital world.
- Broadband that Ensures Public Safety and Maintains Peace of Mind: Residents need the peace of mind that comes with knowing they have reliable access to emergency response services and emergency alert systems in the event of emergencies or catastrophic disasters.
- Broadband that Improves Quality of Life: Digital Equity advances economic status with access to educational opportunities, new job opportunities and health care to improve the overall quality of life.
- Broadband that Supports Economic Prosperity: All workers and employers, businesses and entrepreneurs, start-ups and enterprises, small and large, including agriculture, need high-speed Internet access to optimize the value of their contribution to the economy to ensure global competitiveness.
- Broadband that Attracts Capital Investment: Ubiquitous high-speed Internet infrastructure is essential to ensure that California continues to attract its fair share of global capital investment to support and enhance economic prosperity.
- Broadband that Supports Innovation and Research: High-speed fiber connects all research institutions to sustain world-class research and innovation to drive economic productivity.
- Broadband that Empowers and Enables Participation in the Democracy: All residents are connected to the Internet with sufficient speeds to support participation in government, distance learning, and telehealth for quality of life and public safety.
Adopted by the CETF Board of Directors
November 4, 2020
To Advance the Quest for Digital Equity and Foster Consensus Among Digital Champions