Fourteen percent of NYS residents can’t log on at home. ILR and Community Tech NY are launching the New York State Digital Equity Portal in partnership with the State Department of Education, the New York State Library and The John R. Oishei Foundation.
The portal is an interactive, online data mapping tool for communities and individuals seeking data to inform broadband adoption and improve digital equity for millions of New York state residents without wired internet access.“Advancing digital equity: ILR School develops tool to help NYS communities” by Mary Catt, Cornell Chronicle: https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2021/12/advancing-digital-equity-ilr-school-develops-tool-help-nys-communities
Digital Equity Portal Launches in New York State
First-of-its-Kind Portal Offers Interactive Snapshot of Digital Equity Data
Working in partnership with Community Tech NY (CTNY) and Cornell University’s New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), the New York State Education Department (NYSED), the New York State Library (NYSL) and The John R. Oishei Foundation (JROF) today launched the New York State (NYS) Digital Equity Portal. The NYS Digital Equity Portal is an interactive, online data mapping tool for communities across the state seeking data on New Yorkers’ ability to access the internet to advance digital equity.
“Digital inequity is a complex and multi-faceted problem,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. “The Board of Regents and I understand that closing digital equity gaps will require the coordination, cooperation, and the intentional capacity-building of the many organizations supporting digital inclusion across New York.”
“We are pleased that the State Education Department and the State Library are part of this effort to make digital equity data open and accessible to all New Yorkers,” said State Education Commissioner Dr. Betty A. Rosa. “Our hope is that it will guide the decision-making and planning of coalitions, organizations, and funders.”
“The NYS Digital Equity Portal is a groundbreaking step to advance digital equity by supporting community leaders to understand the scope of the digital divide,” said Houman Saberi, Co-Director at Community Tech NY (CTNY). “CTNY and our partners are excited to partner with digital equity practitioners to use the portal to develop holistic solutions that advance digital justice.”
The development of the portal draws on existing digital equity work, including the NYSED’s “Achieving Digital Equity in New York State: An Outline for Collaborative Change”, and feedback from digital equity advocates across the state to create a resource that is clear, comprehensive, and user-friendly.
Recognizing that access to broadband in and of itself is a limited measure of the digital divide, the NYS Digital Equity Portal allows users to generate interactive snapshots of connectivity, population/demographics, speed and cost of broadband, and other digital equity resources from selected geographies across NYS. Users can analyze the data based on geographies such as congressional districts, zip code, census tract, and New York public library system. The project team plans to develop more data layers through continued research and collaboration with digital equity advocates in New York State.
The NYS Digital Equity Portal reveals barriers to internet access and this data will help communities develop digital equity strategies based on an understanding of digital equity needs, gaps, and priorities.
The NYS Digital Equity Portal is an expansion of the Western New York Digital Divide portal, an online resource created with the support of The John R. Oishei Foundation in late 2020/early 2021. The NYS Digital Equity Portal is supported in part with federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds allocated to the New York State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The NYS Digital Equity Portal can be accessed through Cornell’s website. Technical development of the NYS Digital Equity Portal is led by Dr. Russell Weaver, Director of Research, ILR Buffalo Co-Lab.
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The Reboot: “The Infrastructural Power Beneath the Internet as We Know It”
Ownership models for ISPs serving poor or rural areas vary from utility cooperatives to municipal and tribal government-supported networks to community networks run by and for residents. Maybe part of imagining a different distribution of the means of computation requires a flipping of the script. Rather than assuming that the internet starts as massive nodes of platform data centers and internet exchanges, perhaps the last mile is actually the first step in working toward a different vision of who should own and govern the means of computation.Burrington, Ingrid. “The Infrastructural Power Beneath the Internet as We Know It,” The Reboot. 22 April 2021. https://thereboot.com/the-infrastructural-power-beneath-the-internet-as-we-know-it/