Examining Gaps in Digital Inclusion as States Develop Their Digital Equity Plans


December 19, 2022


May 4, 2022

The passage of the Digital Equity Act of 2021, part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, has added new urgency to state-level efforts to understand digital inclusion and equity gaps among their residents. This year, any state seeking funding through this $2.75 billion federal investment will be required to develop a State Digital Equity Plan, which outlines its approach to addressing these gaps. A central component of each State Digital Equity Plan will be an analysis of the extent to which certain “covered individuals” suffer from gaps in digital inclusion – including access to broadband services, digital devices, and digital literacy skills. This fact sheet, along with factsheets for key states, provides data to inform policymakers and advocates of the gaps in access to broadband internet among various covered individuals, with the goal to help identify remedies and build a more inclusive, equitable digital future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has vividly illustrated the economic and social costs of digital inequities—costs that have fallen disproportionately on people in marginalized communities, including immigrants, people of color, people with disabilities, and families living in poverty. 

In these reports, we use data from the American Community Survey to examine the scale of the challenge and to see how many, and which, Americans could be helped by expanding broadband internet service. 

More on examining digital inclusion across several key states:

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