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It is really important to have good data about the true level of connectivity that communities have. The FCC data is census-based and woefully inadequate. Texas Rural Funders came together in 2019 to open a Connected Nation Texas office to collect granular-level data. That information has been invaluable during the pandemic to the state of Texas as it makes decisions about resources. Good data can also reveal a market where there was thought not to be one.
@Lyn, the Albuquerque Community Foundation holds the collective fund for NM Counts 2020
Thank you for your leadership Dolores in making sure funders focused on broadband in our state!
Yes to policy change! The Texas Rural Funders partners with Ross and his team at The Texas Tribune to host a biennial “Future of Rural Texas Symposium” to elevate rural issues. Policymakers and legislators are always featured in the program. Broadband was a very consistent theme across every session this year.
Who at the federal level is working on this goal to make this a public utility? My understanding is that it needs to happen at the federal vs. state level.
Thank you all for the rich conversation in the chat. A friendly reminder that we will open the conversation to questions in about 10 minutes. Please drop them in the Q&A tab located in the bottom right corner of your Zoom control panel.
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What Alvin said is so important: what is the problem you are trying to solve? Is it access (physical infrastructure)? Or is it adoption (cost of subscription or device)? Or is it use (digital literacy)?
Great question Ellen you should move it to Q&A section
Sorry I phrased as a question but I meant it as question that philanthropists have to ask themselves when trying to spend dollars strategically. I was underscoring Alvin’s comment that you need to know what problem you are trying to solve. Is it access, adoption or use?
A great webinar on this “supply” side and “demand” side on Rural LISC side https://www.lisc.org/rural/our-work/digital-inclusion/ A rural electric cooperative was talking about the demand side as being so so important - they provide broadband and electricity and help customers to use and see the value of internet, smart devices, reducing energy use - very innovative!
Cory, YES - some of our rural communities are not allowed to put in wifi access if internet is being provided in that area b/c of regulations.
If it is of interest, we are addressing broadband challenges in TX in several different ways: https://texasruralfunders.org/
Great conversation thank you!
Asset Funders Network