Happy New Year Tribal Stakeholders!
I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are feeling rejuvenated going into 2024.
January is already a busy month with a lot of important events, so I want to keep this email brief and provide only the highlights in regard to the BEAD and Digital Equity programs at the ACA.
Here’s what you should know:
- The State Broadband Office (SBO) published the Digital Equity Plan yesterday and it is now available for public comments until February 1, 2024. The Digital Equity Plan serves as a roadmap for addressing complex challenges when it comes to closing the digital divide. Among many of the barriers the plan hopes to address; affordability, online and device accessibility, digital inclusion, and online privacy remain the cornerstones.
- The BEAD Initial Proposal is currently under review by NTIA, stay tuned for additional updates regarding next steps, including the challenge process in the months to come.
- The Internet For All Summit is happening, January 23 – 24, 2024. Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs and her office, along with the Arizona Commerce Authority will be hosting a two-day workshop to discuss coordination on broadband efforts and Digital Equity planning as the state prepares to receive significant broadband funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. For more details and to register, click the link below:
- Finally, the SBO traveled to Tohono O’odham last month for the Southern Arizona Tribal Broadband Roundtable Discussion and the presentations and the notes from that session will be attached to this email.
I will continue to provide updates as we move into the new year, but please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a specific concern or question. As always, tribal leaders and their delegates can request a one-on-one meeting if they would like to discuss an issue regarding broadband or digital equity that is unique to their tribal community. Have a fantastic week!
ACA Tribal Liaison, State Broadband Team