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METRO Webinar: Building Community Broadband Networks
October 8 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Greta Byrun, Community Tech NY with speakers from The Point CDC and the Bronx Community Relief Effort, the Kingston Equitable Internet Initiative, the Buffalo Digital Divide Initiative, and New York’s NYSERNet broadband consortium.
The pandemic has brought anxiety and chaos around the digital divide and inequities in access to remote education. With broadband priced out of reach for many low-income families and for overstretched cities and school districts, many communities are looking for solutions outside the current flawed market. What does it take to create a different kind of internet service, one that is equitable and imagined as a public good and a utility, not a luxury?
Some municipalities are lucky enough to have the capacity and resources to go it alone, building out conduit and fiber through their electric utilities or as a municipally-owned open-access resource. Other places are innovating to compose an original ecosystem of resources and capacities including organizing vision, bandwidth, funding, governance, and workforce. Each community’s broadband ecosystem is as unique as a fingerprint, but emerging practices and strategies can be replicated and shared. In this moment of potential and need, we will learn from three communities building broadband their own way: The Bronx, Buffalo, and Kingston.
The Digital Equity webinar series is organized by the New York State Library and the New York State Education Department, in partnership with the METRO Library Council and the Northern New York Library Network.