Written by Kate Rivera, TLC Executive Director
The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) has drafted its Statewide Digital Equity Plan. Public Comment is open with a deadline to submit feedback by 12pm on Monday January 8, 2024.
The final version of the plan will serve as the state's blueprint for advancing digital equity and provide the framework for the distribution of tens of millions of dollars in federal funding. It is imperative that the state's plan reflects the needs and insights of Philadelphia's digital equity community. TLC encourages you and your organizations to review the draft plan and provide feedback via the public comment process.
This is the second post in a three-part blog series to help you understand why the plan is important, what’s in the plan (that’s this blog), and highlight some areas where you may want to provide feedback. Below I do my best to give a quick overview of what’s in this 100+ page document. I still encourage you to download the full plan here.
What to Look for in the Plan
Your feedback is important because you are the expert on your community or the needs of your organization! Below are some ideas of what to consider while reviewing the plan.
What’s in the Plan
Below is the full table of contents (see the actual plan document for page numbers). While there’s great information throughout the plan, I encourage you to focus your time on reviewing the Implementation Plan (pages 98-103) as this is really where the rubber will meet the road.
Below I will quickly highlight what is in each section of the plan.
A good summary if you don’t have time to read the whole document! You can share this with community members and program participants who may want to give feedback as well.
The Executive Summary has been translated into German, Korean, Russian, Simpified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese. You can download all of those versions of the Executive Summary here.
Commitment to Digital Equity in PA
Provides the state’s vision for digital equity and overview of how efforts in other state agencies align with digital equity goals. Includes links to a bunch more interesting reports and resources, which is great if you have the time to do additional reading! Links include:
Identifies State and National resources, including:
Includes a non-exhaustive list of digital inclusion programs across the state (it’s just meant to representative, not exhaustive, so don’t worry if your org isn’t listed).
Current State of Digital Equity: Needs Assessment
Presents the results from the PBDA’s public survey and discusses challenges and barriers for the NTIA-defined “covered populations” for this funding, which are:
Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement
This section outlines the ways that the PBDA conducted outreach and stakeholder engagement in preparation of the plan, presents more results from the public survey, and briefly outlines a commitment to continued collaboration.
The implementation plan presents 5 goals, with strategies, actions, and KPIs outlined for each goal. There’s a nice visual providing an overview of the goals:
I highly encourage you to download the plan, click the hyperlink in the table of contents for the Implementation Plan, and read that section for the full list of strategies, actions, and KPIs. This section of the plan is only a few pages long, but a ton of important detail is packed in.