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The Connective looks to bridge greater Phoenix ‘digital divide’

Photo illustrating one area of the digital divide
The Connective launched the broadband task force in late 2021, convening local governments in bimonthly meetings to create and implement a regional economic development strategy to eradicate digital inequities among residents of greater Phoenix. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)

The Connective evaluates, implements ‘digital divide’ strategies

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Connective, greater Phoenix’s smart region consortium and initiative of the Partnership for Economic Innovation, has concluded its 12-month-long role as initiator and convener of the greater Phoenix broadband task force.

Now, broadband task force partners ASU Enterprise Technology, Sun Corridor Network and the Digital Equity Institute will lead the work of bridging the ‘digital divide’ — creating equitable access to broadband and digital literacy in the Greater Phoenix region, according to a press release.

“We’re extremely encouraged by the progress we’ve made in the last year. The government, industry, and academic leaders that have contributed to this work so far have laid a strong foundation towards achieving digital equity in our region,” said Ben Williams, program manager for The Connective, in a prepared statement.

The Connective launched the broadband task force in late 2021, convening local governments in bimonthly meetings to create and implement a regional economic development strategy to eradicate digital inequities among residents of greater Phoenix.

In September, Arizona State University secured $34.6 million in funding from Maricopa County to start addressing the barriers to digital equity, the release states.

This funding places the university and its partners in a position to identify and connect underserved areas, expand physical and digital infrastructure highways, deliver devices and literacy training, officials there say.

“We’ve organized, learned, planned, and begun to build. But there is so much left to do,” Mr. Williams said. “ASU, DEI, and the Sun Corridor Network have been invaluable partners, and are a powerful force to drive the work that lies ahead.”

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