Committed to Digital Equity
Community Technology & Telecommunications Commission (CTTC) Takes Action
On October 9th, 2020 the Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission (CTTC) convened a Special Called Meeting focused on Digital Equity. This meeting included a variety of Austin residents receiving services, policymakers, and the community leaders of local nonprofits. The global COVID-19 pandemic has necessarily elevated the importance of such conversations. The purpose of the convening was to allow Austin citizens the opportunity to directly communicate their lived experiences and persistent challenges with accessing internet-enabled devices and equitable broadband internet. Their accounts provide “challenge data points” for cataloguing and potential resolution. Some of the data points include:
  • No universal screen reader standard
  • Digital skills training for parents and working student families
  • Insufficient hotspot bandwidth for common share wi-fi access scenarios
  • Lack of culturally competent device training and resources (ESL, deaf, visually impaired, etc)
  • Lack of relevancy and trust in internet or tech companies
  • Lack of geographically equitable broadband
Special Report on Digital Equity.pdf
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The findings of this Special Called Meeting were discussed at the subsequent regular meeting of the commission on November 19th and available in the Special Report on Digital Equity linked above. A consensus was reached that a working group should be formed to explore the next steps in responding to the above points. This working group will be comprised of CTTC members and representatives from the Digital Empowerment Community of Austin. Together, they will assess and implement plans to develop a Digital Equity Score Card for local Internet Service Providers and/or a Broadband Map illustrating internet speeds throughout Austin. Updates from this working group will be shared after their work commences.
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