HomeTop StoriesDigital Equity Broadband Rally March 21 in Fayette

Digital Equity Broadband Rally March 21 in Fayette

Mar. 6—Eight target areas have been identified in Fayette County as the broader quest for better broadband access continues.

County resident Jeff Proctor is among those who have been working with the Fayette County Commission to explore broadband access in the county, and he said in a news release that there will be a digital equity broadband meeting on March 21 at 6 p.m. scheduled at Midland Trail High. School.

Stakeholders and community leaders and all interested individuals from the various target groups are invited to attend and provide feedback on digital equality, a press release said. The eight target groups are as follows:

—Low income/poverty

—Aging/Seniors (over 60)

-Locked up

—Veterans

– Persons with disabilities

—Racial ethnic minority groups

-Rural; And

—Language barriers, both English and non-native speakers.

The state of West Virginia has qualified for $1.2 billion for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program to provide broadband to the 35 percent of West Virginians who are underemployed or unemployed. According to the press release, the West Virginia Office Of Broadband (WVOB) is overseeing the grant and the steps required to obtain the BEAD grant for the physical expansion of high-speed internet to the underserved and underserved.

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“For too long, West Virginia has lacked affordable, high-speed broadband access, a necessity for access to health care, education, civic and social engagement, and economic opportunity,” the news release said.

The State should prepare a report on digital equality, a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity necessary for full participation in society, democracy and the economy and necessary for access to essential services and social and cultural participation . employment, education and lifelong learning, the press release said.

As part of the BEAD process, West Virginia will receive $60 million to complete state and regional/provincial DE plans.

To better understand digital equity at the local level, the Connect Humanity Appalachian Regional Commission’s ARISE grant will assist with the planning process and write a report.

The Region 4 Planning and Development Council and Generation West Virginia will help Fayette County bring together a group of citizens to help identify the needs of the eight target groups and create a digital equity plan in Fayette County, the news release said.

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In partnership with the province, Generation WV is expected to develop a plan to address target groups’ needs for access, skills, education, accessing and navigating government sites, and workforce skills.

Leaders in the target groups who can help develop a provincial DE plan are urged to contact Proctor.

Email: skeenan@register-herald.com; follow on Facebook. Follow on Twitter @gb_scribe

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