The internet is a critical part of everyday life. Yet one in five Californians, including many in Los Angeles County do not have access to affordable, reliable broadband service, devices, and the skills to use them. Going without a reliable broadband connection can affect the ability to land a better job, provide a better education to the next generation or fully access medical care. The gap between those with broadband connection and those without is known as the “digital divide.”

Over the next few months, the California Department of Technology will be leveraging a federal planning grant to develop a state Digital Equity Plan. When completed, the plan will deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to California and ensure our residents have affordable, high-speed internet access, as well as the skills and tools needed to participate in the digital economy.

To produce a Digital Equity Plan that works for all Californians, we need everyone’s help! Commit to working towards an equitable digital future by taking the California Digital Equity Survey and encouraging those in your community to do the same by June 30, 2023.

Feedback collected from this survey will help form a plan to fund programs that provide reliable internet, computers, and the skills to use them.

Our state needs to hear especially from those who struggle most with accessing the internet. This includes English language learners, veterans, immigrants, adults over 60 years old, people who live in rural areas, individuals with disabilities, minorities and those living at or below the federal poverty level.

Drafting the plan will be a major milestone toward enabling better digital access for those in Los Angeles County, so it is crucial that as many community members as possible participate in this planning process while there is still time.

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