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Did Pandemic Response Funding Help Americans Connect in a Crisis? A Roundtable Forum with the PRAC and the Academy

December 15, 2021 @ 01:00:00 pm - December 15, 2021 @ 02:15:00 pm
Eastern Time (ET)

Join the Academy and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) for a panel discussion on the impact of pandemic response funding and programs designed to make home internet more affordable and accessible.

When the pandemic hit, affordable and dependable internet became vital to keep America going. Children attended school online, businesses transitioned to telework, and health care providers shifted to telehealth appointments. These sudden changes highlighted the glaring disparity in internet connectivity to underserved communities. Congress gave $3.2 billion to help fix the issue, and so far more than 7.4 million households have received financial assistance to make internet more affordable. If another national crisis occurs, are we any closer to breaking the digital divide?

The expert panelists will discuss:

  • The state of internet access across the country
  • How the pandemic reinforced the critical importance of broadband connectivity
  • The effectiveness of pandemic relief programs in broadband assistance, and how local governments used pandemic funding to address broadband challenges
  • The different challenges to urban and rural communities with accessibility vs. affordability.

This event is on-the-record and open to the press.

Panelists Include:

Kathryn de Wit, Pew Charitable Trusts

Evan Feinman, Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission

Dr. Dominique Harrison, Citi Ventures Studio

Evan Marwell, Education SuperHighway

Angela Siefer, National Digital Inclusion Alliance


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