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RECAP: Affordability Task Force Convening | May 26, 2021

Updated: Sep 2

Affordability Task Force Objective

Planning for high-quality, sustainable, affordable, and equitable service for households and communities



Summary

The Affordability Task Force held its first meeting on May 26, 2021, and included representatives from multiple sectors interested in resolving the digital divide in the Los Angeles County region. Task force members engaged in a fruitful discussion around priority areas to focus on at future convenings. In addition, all members had the opportunity to provide feedback through discussion, chat-box, or by responding to questions via a jam board. The jam board was a very productive tool and generated approximately 80 sticky note comments, suggestions, or inquiries.



Here are the key themes from the discussion on affordability:

  1. Current barriers preventing households from having affordable internet access:

  2. Competition

  3. Existing market incentives for introductory offers

  4. Public owned middle-mile infrastructure needed

  5. Household language barriers

  6. Affordable options rules

  7. ISP transparency

  8. How can we consolidate information about existing affordable plans to make the information available to the public and to support community engagement efforts:

  9. School district partnerships to parents

  10. Digital equity promotoras

  11. Database maintained by a neutral community organization

  12. Identification of rate plans

  13. How do we incentivize and encourage broad competition to increase access to service to low-income communities:

  14. Streamline permitting process

  15. Affordability of permits

  16. City incentives to collaborate

  17. Broadband as a public utility

  18. Finance public middle mile

  19. Community Choice

  20. Economic development education


The suggested breakout subtopic considerations are presented given the initial feedback from task force members:

  1. Rate plans – identification, location, verification, plan rules

  2. Increased competition

  3. Subsidies


The affordability task force will meet virtually monthly and includes education, health, nonprofit, education, business, city municipalities, and internet service providers. To learn more, visit: ladeal.org/events.


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