We are so energized to be partnering with all of you to achieve Digital Equity. Thank you for your leadership and congratulations on the progress you’ve already made in 2023. We are on track to make this a breakthrough year for Digital Equity.
CETF is celebrating 15 years of serving California by working to close the Digital Divide. Through our collective work, we are achieving Digital Equity for Community Justice. Today CETF is releasing the 2023 Progress Report that summarizes accomplishments, spotlights your success stories, and, most importantly, sets forth future goals.
As outlined in the 2023 Progress Report, California has made great progress toward the overarching Goals of Ubiquitous Deployment and Universal Adoption.
However, the 2023 Progress Report also notes persistent gaps remain. This is particularly noticeable looking at economic subgroups with 29% of low-income Californians digitally-disadvantaged, compared to just 15% of the state as a whole.
The Digital Divide is another facet of the Economic Divide stemming from concentrated and persistent poverty rooted in systemic racism. Thus, closing the Digital Divide must address the interrelated factors and forces that we call the “wall of poverty” that make it very difficult for low-income residents to escape oppressive economic conditions and to succeed in school. This reality screams for systemic change and is why the California Emerging Technology Fund pursues Digital Equity as a 21st Century Civil Right and an imperative for Community Justice.
As we kick off 2023 we are focused on boldly working to achieve Digital Equity with aggressive quantified goals. The California Broadband Council adopted a goal to get 90% of all low-income households online by 2024. State Agencies are actively implementing past Legislative and Administrative orders while preparing the Digital Equity Plan and Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Plan. CETF will be right there, alongside them in this work.
The challenge now is to overcome bureaucratic inertia and break through organizational silos with commitment and urgency to achieve Digital Equity and Community Justice for all Californians.
It is only a matter of LEADERSHIP.