Thousands of school districts were unprepared to transition online when the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the school year. Approximately 17 million students nationwide are still struggling with reliable access to broadband. Aside from being unable to participate in online learning programs, these students are among those facing poverty, food insecurity, unstable housing, and limited access to health care.
Next Century Cities’ Executive Director Francella Ochillo will describe the need for long-term solutions that resource and remove obstacles for local connectivity solutions. Importantly, both state and local government entities have an important role in supporting the community-based partnerships that increase broadband adoption.
Francella is an attorney and digital rights advocate who has worked on a variety of technology and telecommunications issues with a specific focus on assessing the impact on underrepresented communities. As Executive Director of Next Century Cities, she leads efforts to help policymakers and lawmakers at every level of government recognize the importance of ubiquitous broadband and community partnerships. Her organization’s work supports a bipartisan coalition of local officials who are expanding high-speed Internet opportunities for their residents.
The Digital Equity webinar series is organized by the New York State Library and the New York State Education Department, in partnership with the METRO Library Council and the Northern New York Library Network.