RECAP: Affordability Task Force Convening | June 30, 2021
Updated: Sep 2
Affordability Task Force Objective
Planning for high-quality, sustainable, affordable, and equitable service for households and communities
The Affordability Task Force held its second meeting on June 30, 2021, and included representatives from multiple sectors interested in resolving the digital divide in the Los Angeles County region. Taskforce members reviewed the current legislative calendar for broadband-related bill hearings, recapped the key emerging themes from the initial meeting (rate plans, increased competition, subsidies), and reviewed current affordable rate plans, barriers, and resources.
Asset map LA County languages
Partnership for LA Schools Report - Identifies barriers
www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit is a federally-funded program, providing a $50 discount
www.fcc.gov/emergency-connectivity-fund available to public libraries and schools
https://longbeach.gov/ti/digital-inclusion/cares-act-digital-inclusion-programs-and-current-efforts/ Information on the City of Long Beach's CARES Act Digital Inclusion Programs:
https://www.everyoneon.org/find-offers to find internet package offers
The task force reviewed a list with the affordable rate plans available to the public to verify accuracy. The discussion identified actual internet speed may vary due to community infrastructure. Human i-T guides households to determine the quickest internet provider based on home address.
The task force identified barriers hindering access to low-income households, such as being unable to re-enroll in affordable options when there is a late payment. Some prerequisites make the rate available for only a few months, which does not resolve the long-term problem, and non-English speakers experience long wait times.
The City of Long Beach Language used CARES funds to provide real-time interpretation to get residents connected to free devices (interpreters served as liaisons for residents to Human i-T).
School Districts can serve as a conduit for reaching families and being a trusted community source.
The Affordability Task Force meets virtually monthly and includes education, health, nonprofit, education, business, city municipalities, and internet service providers. To learn more, visit: ladeal.org/events.
Meeting #3 is scheduled for July 28, 2021.