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  • NCC Discusses Why Prioritizing Access Over Adoption Is Contributing to the Digital Divide

The Power Station podcast, hosted by Anne Pasmanick, interviews nonprofit leaders about work on issues with a significant societal impact. Known for exploring how organizations build community, advocate for policy change, and make an impact in overlooked and underinvested communities, Next Century Cities Executive Director, Francella Ochillo, was invited to discuss opportunities for coalition building and collaboration in closing the digital divide

In a podcast interview, published on December 14, 2020, Francella emphasized the critical role of local leadership, then discussed broadband challenges and success stories in communities nationwide. Highlighting research from Next Century Cities’ municipal case studies on Albuquerque, New Mexico; Detroit, Michigan; Huntsville, Alabama, Long Beach, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and Mesa, Arizona, she noted that achieving universal broadband requires supporting digital infrastructure and adoption programs. 

Prioritizing access over adoption has only contributed to the digital divide, and forced under-resourced municipalities to rely on the generosity of private stakeholders to gift service plans, provide devices, or support digital literacy for populations in need. That is an unsustainable model. Listen to the podcast here.