Earlier this year, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) named Philadelphia a 2022 Digital Inclusion Trailblazer. The NDIA is an organization connecting over 600 non-profit organizations, policy-makers, and academics to improve access to broadband and achieve digital equity.
They define digital equity as, “the condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy.”
What are Digital Inclusion Trailblazers?
According to the NDIA, Digital Inclusion Trailblazers are local government initiatives promoting digital literacy and broadband access for underserved residents.
Trailblazers are selected based on six criteria:
- Having and funding a least one full-time person in the local government dedicated to digital inclusion
- Having or developing a digital inclusion plan for the local region
- Local government staff or representatives participate in an open-access digital inclusion coalition
- Conducted and publishing survey research on Internet access and use by residents.
- The local government directly funds community digital inclusion programming.
- The local government is taking steps to increase affordability of home broadband service
The City of Philadelphia meets all six criteria:
- We created an Executive Order and have two staff members working on Digital Equity.
- We released a Digital Equity Plan in 2022
- We manage the Digital Literacy Alliance and participate in the Technology Learning Collaborative
- We conducted the Household Internet Assessment Survey in 2022 and published the full dataset in OpenDataPhilly.
- The Digital Literacy Alliance directly funds innovative digital inclusion programming
- PHLConnectED launched to provide free internet access to pre-K-12 households in need
Philadelphia is proud to be a leader on Digital Inclusion
The City of Philadelphia knows reliable, affordable internet access is vital for Philadelphians. Before the pandemic, 70% of Philadelphians were connected to internet in their homes. Since 2020 that number has increased to 84%.
The City’s efforts have made a significant impact. We will continue to blaze the trail by engaging with Philadelphians, providing training and resources, and creating solutions to address digital inequities.