Central Nebraska Economic Development District (CNEDD) is proud to present the “Digital Equity in Central Nebraska” Digital Equity Plan. Work was conducted over the course of the past year by 15 volunteers from across the region known as the Regional Broadband Committee and CNEDD Staff. Many communities in the Central Nebraska Economic Development District region lack access to affordable, sufficient, reliable, and high-speed internet. Our plan will be part of the State of Nebraska’s Digital Equity Plan.
The Central Nebraska Economic Development District (CNEDD) is always working to improve the life of individuals in our region by economic development and now, Digital Equity and Broadband.
WHAT IS DIGITAL EQUITY
Digital Equity is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation. The four pillars of Digital Equity are:
- Internet: Having access to internet that is affordable, sufficient, and reliable.
- Digital Skills and Technical Support: Having the knowledge and skills required to use the devices and applications.
- Devices: Having computers and accessories necessary to be productive, create content, and participate.
- Application and Services: Expanding technological designs and applications to assist those individuals with disabilities, language barriers, and other limitations and to support and expand our workforce through digital education.
Digital Inclusion refers to activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to and use of information and Communication Technologies. The digital inclusion elements are:
- Affordable, robust broadband internet service,
- Internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of users,
- Access to digital skills/ literacy training. This refers to having the knowledge you need to live, learn, and work in a society where communication and access to information is increasing through digital technologies like internet platforms, social media, and mobile devices.
- Tech Support
Broadband Equity is achieved when every person within every community can access, affordable, high-speed, reliable internet that meets their current and long-term needs.
THE STATE DIGITAL EQUITY PLANNING GRANT
Central Nebraska Economic Development District and the Nebraska Regional Official’s Council (NROC) assisted the Nebraska Information Technology Commission to draft and submit a Digital Equity Planning Grant Application for the State of Nebraska last September 2022. The grant was awarded to the State in December of 2022 for the purpose of creating a State Digital Equity Plan. This Digital Equity Plan Grant will point out the current digital equity that Nebraska has and then will set a business-like model to address these barriers over the next 5 years. This plan will also open the door for broadband funding to the State in the future.
OVERALL PLANNING COMMITTEE: The Nebraska Information Technology Commission and NROC are working together to plan and create this 5-Year Digital Equity Plan for the State of Nebraska. Each Economic Development District in Nebraska has the opportunity to create their own Regional Digital Equity Plan. These plans will eventually be incorporated into the State’s Digital Equity Plan.
CNEDD has created a Regional Broadband Committee that will help the District identify the current assets and barriers in our region and help set strategic measurable goals that fit our district’s needs in Digital Equity. CNEDD will write the Regional Digital Equity plan based upon the committee’s recommendations.
Having Digital Equity in Nebraska and in our Central Nebraska District is important for the sustainability of our rural district and our state’s economy.
DIGITAL INCLUSION PROGRAMS
Please check out our ‘Affordable Connectivity Program’ page for more information about the program and how to apply.
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST DIGITAL EQUITY PLANNING GRANT AND BROADBAND A CTIVITIES
The State Digital Equity Information tab will include the most recent information about the Central Nebraska Regional Broadband Committee and the State’s Digital Equity Plan, CNEDD Tuesday Tech tips (you can also access ‘Tuesday Tech Tips’ by following us on Facebook), Digital Opportunity Webinars, and events that are located in your community.