Task Force Contact Steve Peters, Coordinator Arizona Broadband Stakeholder Network & COVID-19 Digital Access Network Phone and Text 520-321-1309 email@example.com
Table of Contents - See Details Below
NTIA $288 Million Broadband Infrastructure Grants
NTIA Broadband Grants Webinars
Utility Commissioners Release Draft Recommendations For Better Broadband
Arizona Passes Legislation To Expand Broadband In Arizona
Kajeet Digital Inclusion Grants: Application Deadline June 4th, 2021.
AZ Department Of Education Allocates $12 million to support Student Equity and Achievement throughout Arizona
Arizona Lighting Up The Future: Regional The Availability Gap Virtual Workshops June 7, 8, 9
AZ And FCC EBB Emergency Broadband Program Campaign
FCC $7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund - What Is It?
June 9, 2021SHLB - Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Online Workshop: E-rate Emergency Connectivity Fund: Rules Announced.
Scottsdale Baptist Church (SBC) Bridging the Digital Divide
ASU American Indian Policy Institute - Broadband Initiatives and Resources
Consortium for School Networking study on students’ at-home Internet connectivity
View Webinar Recording: The Global 5G Rollout Race & Emerging Arizona 5G Technologies:
Arizona Broadband Workshops
Three AARP Articles: Tech Resources for Seniors including Training and and Help to Get or Upgrade Computers and Internet Access
Telemedicine Training Programs May 24, September 13 and March 15, July 19, November 8 2021
Local First Arizona Economic Recovery Center
United State Distance Learning Association seeks applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants
Other Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants
Rural Development Innovation Center Innovation Website and Newsletter provides a listing of funding opportunities, events and resources in rural America
Updates and Events
NTIA $288 Million Broadband Infrastructure Grants The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced the availability of $288 million in grant funding for the deployment of broadband infrastructure. Grants will be awarded to partnerships between a state, or political subdivisions of a state, and providers of fixed broadband service. NTIA’s Broadband Infrastructure Program was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
NTIA will accept applications for projects that are designed to:
Provide broadband service to the greatest number of households in an eligible service area;
Provide broadband service to rural areas;
Be most cost-effective in providing broadband service; or
Provide broadband service with a download speed of at least 100 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 20 Mbps.
NTIA will group applications based on the priority above that each application addresses, and will sequence its review of application groups in the statutory order listed above. “NTIA has built durable partnerships with the states through our State Broadband Leaders Network, and with local governments and their broadband initiatives through our technical assistance offerings and other efforts,” said Acting NTIA Administrator Evelyn Remaley. “We are eager to put these relationships to work to ensure a successful program that expands broadband infrastructure in communities that need it most.”
NTIA is also holding a series of webinars to further inform the public about the program. The next Broadband Infrastructure webinars will be held on June 9 and 10.
Great News! Arizona Passes Legislation To Expand Broadband In Arizona Arizona passes House Bill 2596 aimed at expanding broadband access in Arizona that will help Arizonans living in rural and tribal areas gain access to fast, affordable and reliable internet. House Bill 2596:
Allows private broadband providers to install, operate and maintain telecommunications equipment within the Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) rights-of-way.
Allows ADOT to grant access to its own broadband conduit to private telecommunications companies in a non-exclusive and non-discriminatory manner — reducing the cost of installing rural broadband infrastructure.
Creates the “Smart Highway Trust Fund” to deposit leasing revenues generated from the use of ADOT rights-of-way, which are to be used for operation and maintenance of telecommunications facilities within ADOT’s rights-of-way.
Kajeet Digital Inclusion Grants Application Deadline:Grant applications can be submitted from May 3rd, 2021 through June 4th, 2021. Kajeet is launching the 2021 Kajeet Digital Inclusion Grantto help organizations provide members of their community with safe, reliable access to remote learning, telehealth services, and other essential online resources. Grant winners will receive a pilot program with the Kajeetdigital equity solution of their choice – WiFi hotspots, bus WiFi, or building WiFi. Each pilot program includes, hardware, a year of data on the network of their choice, and access to our device and data management portal.
Who Can Apply? K-12 Schools and Districts, Tribal Schools, Colleges and Universities, Public Libraries, Non-Profits, and Cities and Municipalities Information Here
Utility Commissioners Broadband Task Force Draft Broadband Recommendations A task force made up of state public service commissioners for utility services released a set of draft recommendations to help coordinate and facilitate the closing of gaps in broadband service nationwide. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Broadband Expansion Task Force, published draft recommendations that focus on:
Improving broadband mapping
Enhancing broadband program coordination Ensuring broadband providers meet their obligations
AZ Department Of Education Allocates $12 million to support Student Equity and Achievement throughout Arizona The Arizona Department of Education has allocated an additional $12 million in federal recovery dollars to support Student Equity and Achievement throughout Arizona. Allocations were made in the following areas:
Student Equity & Achievement
Educator Recruitment & Retention
Safe & Healthy Schools
Serving Arizona School Communities through the Pandemic & Beyond
Post-Secondary Access & Attainment
Additional Relief Funding to Public Schools
Includes $853k – Laptop and Hotspot Partnership with City of Phoenix; $1.5 Million – Expanding Rural Broadband with the Final Mile Project; $15k – Kajeet Hotspots for Students & Families; See Details Here
Arizona Lighting Up The Future - The Desert Goes Digital Regional roundtables to connect AZ's under-connected The Availability Gap Virtual Workshops This is a virtual regional roundtable so please select the Arizona region that best applies to your locale/area of interest. Each session will be identical and is only separated by region to accommodate the needs and nuances across the state of Arizona.
Central Region - June 7th: 4:00-5:00p.m. MT
Northern Region - June 8th: 4:00-5:00p.m. MT
Southern Region - June 9th: 4:00-5:00p.m. MT
Info and Registration Here Mirroring the national trend, Arizona’s broadband is unevenly distributed. Many with population centers totaling a ~250k residents have little or no broadband at all. What can we do as changemakers to increase access to broadband and close this gap? On June 7, 8 or 9 from 4:00-5:00p.m. MT, join the Institute for Digital Progress, Arizona State University, Arizona Commerce Authority, Sun Corridor Network and a coalition of changemakers to address vital changes needed to the infrastructure. In this virtual roundtable, collaborate with local changemakers by state regions to advance a range of policy options and resource investments to assure that all geographic areas and population centers have robust broadband capacity.
Break out "roundtable" topics will include:
Identifying communities of need
Infrastructure needs and community anchor institutions
$7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund - What is it? See SHLB - Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Special June 9 Online Workshop Below To help schools and libraries provide devices and Internet connectivity to students, school staff, and library patrons during the pandemic, Congress established a $7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund as part of the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Federal Communications Commission is now defining the rules to distribute the new funds to eligible schools and libraries for the purchase of eligible equipment and advanced telecommunications and information services for use by students, school staff, and library patrons at locations other than a school or library—primarily to homes.
Is this an E-Rate program? No, it isn’t the same as E-Rate. The fund is going to be administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) - the same entity that administers the E-Rate program for schools and libraries. While there are some commonalities between the two programs it is important to remember that the Emergency Connectivity Fund is not E-Rate and it will be its own program with its own rules, regulations and processes.
What are the rules? The rules, regulations and processes are not fully defined yet.
What will it fund? For eligible schools and libraries, this will provide funding (and reimbursement) for advanced telecommunications and information services and equipment including Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, devices that combine a modem and router, and connected devices. These funds can be used in competitive procurements or to reimburse eligible expenses dating back to January 27th, 2020. It is also worth noting that the funds from this program will remain available until September 30th, 2030.
Special Online Workshop: E-rate Emergency Connectivity Fund SHLB - Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition June 9, 2021 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET- 10:00 Arizona Information and Registration Jessica Rosenworcel,Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, key architect of the ECF rules, will kick off the workshop with words of wisdom about the program. The Federal Communications Commission recently announced the rules to apply for the E-rate Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), an historic opportunity for schools and libraries to connect students and patrons to home broadband. Unlike traditional E-rate funding, the $7 billion ECF program will allow schools and libraries to pay for off-campus connectivity and internet-enabled devices, such as laptops and tablets. Any school or library seeking funding from this program will need to digest a host of new rules in a flash due to the very tight application windows.
The SHLB Coalition’s ECF workshop will provide schools, libraries, and vendors with the essential strategies and information needed to submit successful funding applications.
Scottsdale Baptist Church (SBC) Bridging the Digital Divide Big Time Together with the City of Phoenix and School Connect, a local non-profit (a COVID-19 Task Force Member), SBC launched a vision to help bridge the Digital Divide in Phoenix. This is amazing!
They raised $1.5 million to purchase 7,896 laptops for kids in need in every City of Phoenix school district. They were even able to meet the need in the Tolleson, Litchfield and Fountain Hills school districts as well!
The City of Phoenix purchased an additional 4,375 laptops needed in these districts using CARES Act funding
SBC and the City of Phoenix also worked with businesses to help provide high-speed internet service for kids in these districts
They have also built a unique and ongoing partnership with their city government and public school system
AIPI is a think-tank with a primary focus on public policy analysis and research. We have expertise in telecommunications, communications, broadband, digital inclusion, technology for language retention, and technology as the backbone for community and economic development, and communications technology. We disseminate our work via outcomes to be disseminated in policy briefs, newsletters, lectured, conference presentations, and white papers.
Consortium for School Networking study on students’ at-home Internet connectivity CoSN, the Consortium for School Networking, released a report on the preliminary findings of a breakthrough studyon students’ at-home internet connectivity and provided guidelines on bandwidth, devices and other remote learning needs based on the data. The study, supported by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), fills a critical need among educators and policymakers for detailed insight on students’ learning experiences at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thirteen K-12 urban, suburban and rural school districts from across the United States with approximately 750,000 students participated in the six-week study, securely sharing information on internet usage, latency, and performance from network filter logs and video conferencing solutions. The resulting findings will guide school district technology leaders across the United States working to improve online learning equity.
Arizona And FCC EBB Emergency Broadband Benefits Program Campaign
On May 12 the FCC will officially launch the new Emergency Broadband Program. As you may know, the EBB addresses the unprecedented need by low-income households for affordable digital access resources including Internet and devices such as computers and cell phones. The EBB provides eligible households a subsidy of up to $50 per month on Internet service, or $75 per month for those living on Tribal lands. The EBB may also provide eligible households a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop or tablet computer. It is urgent that we get the word out and help eligible low-income households register for this program ASAP. EBB is a limited funding and limited duration benefit program so we need to act now to help Arizona low-income consumers get signed up before time and money run out.
Arizona EBB Campaign and Toolkit A statewide Arizona coalition of government, education and nonprofit organizations is asking for your participation in a statewide campaign to get eligible households signed-up ASAP. We know that for many people signing up for government programs can be scary and complicated so we are asking schools, libraries, non-profit and faith-based organizations, social service and health care agencies, and local and state governments to help get the word out to your constituencies about the EBB program, and to help them register for these benefits. The AZBSN COVID-19 Digital Access Task Force is participating in the Coalition, led by Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, School Connect, Common Sense Media and United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, in cooperation with many other government and nonprofit organizations such as the Arizona Rural Schools Association, the Arizona Telemedicine Program, the Arizona Department of Education, and economic development organizations. They are collaborating on a promotion strategy and EBB Toolkitto make it easier for your organization to access the information you may need. The toolkit was developed to share with your networks, school districts, education leaders, nonprofits, community organizations and others.
The toolkit is housed on the Connect Arizona website, which also provides resources and guidance for individuals needing virtual learning opportunities for students, access to free WIFI hotspots and digital tech support. The toolkit includes:
A PDF showing step-by-step instructions on how individuals can apply for EBB discounts
An Emergency Broadband Benefit FAQ sheet
The FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit program guide
A Flyer in English outlining the program and eligibility requirements
A Flyer in Spanish outlining the program and eligibility requirements
A Half-page flyer in English that can be printed and distributed locally
A Half-page flyer in Spanish that can be printed and distributed to locally
A sample email to use as a template to share out to your networks
Here Is How You Can Help
Become an Outreach Partner. Get your organization involved to help get the word out to your constituencies about the EBB program, and to help them register for these benefits.
Identify a Point of Contact within your organization to learn about the EBB, and the processes to help eligible consumers sign-up and take advantage of these programs
Print and distribute EBB flyers to your constituents
Help Get Arizona Partners Signed-Up For EBB - Send an Email We are asking you to help get the word out to your contacts and networks to recruit partner organizations and Navigators/Points of Contact. Feel free to use the attached email templates as is, or modify it for your needs. You can remove our logo and add yours, and change it any way that will be most useful for you. We know people will be more responsive receiving communication from people and organizations they know and trust. We suggest you cut and paste info into an email rather than sending an attachment.
The Global 5G Rollout Race & Emerging Arizona 5G Technologies Arizona Technology Council Presented May 12, 2021 View Recording Here
How can Arizona better prepare for the ubiquitous 5G? What is Arizona’s role in the rapidly unfolding $1.3 trillion forecasted (PwC) global 5G economy? What are some key Arizona based emerging technologies? How should Arizona brand itself as a 5G ‘hot bed’ to compete for 5G related jobs and increasing market share? These are some of the topics and challenges that will be discussed by our expert panelists. Join us to learn the latest about the 5G rollout and how it portends to transform the global economy and what that means to Arizona’s future.
Panel: Lisa Lovallo from Cox Business, Jeff Sobotka from Arizona Commerce Authority, Alex Rodriguez from FreeFall5G, Dr. James Moreland from Raytheon, Dr. Dustin McIntire from COMSovereign, and Matthew Clark from Verizon.
Three AARP Articles: Tech Resources for Seniors including Training and and Help to Get or Upgrade Computers and Internet Access
Article 1 AARP Emergency Broadband Benefits Program: AARP has long worked for low-cost internet solutions for older Americans, who need high-speed broadband for teleworking, medical and health-related information and news, online health-care consultations with doctors and nurses, and interacting with loved ones and friends, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. See Article Here
Article 2 Technology Skills Training. Senior Planet and its parent organization, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), a nonprofit organization that specializes in teaching technology skills to older adults, is uniting with AARP to offer its courses to even more older adults nationwide — for free. AARP is collaborating with OATS to expand its offerings and make them known to a wider audience through AARP’s new Virtual Community Center. Senior Planet programs are designed to teach adults 60 and older basic and advanced computer skills. Its interactive online classes, offered in English, Spanish and Chinese, are free to anyone of any age. About 50 classes are on the schedule each week. The relationship with AARP allows both organizations to help more people learn the computer skills they need now more than ever because so many activities and events are available only online. AARP has two places to sign up for free online classes and workshops: Senior Planet’s upcoming events and AARP’s Virtual Community CenterSee the Article Here
Article 3 Devices and Internet Access Resources: This Article provides info and links to resources for seniors that offer free personal computers or tablets or discounted internet access. City governments, nonprofits and communications companies across the country are stepping up to remedy the deficiencies in technology. Pockets of seniors in many communities are using new laptops or tablets with free internet and training, courtesy of partnerships aimed at averting the ill effects of isolation.See the Article Here
Arizona Broadband Workshops Arizona Broadband Workshops Website The Arizona Commerce Authority, in cooperation with BroadbandUSA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Economic Development Administration (EDA) is presenting a new webinar series — the Arizona Broadband Workshops. Sessions will be offered on the first Wednesday of every month from 10 am to 12 pm, March through July. Through interactive exercises and discussions, city officials, economic developers and business leaders who attend will be connected with resources to build a roadmap for planning projects, including identifying funding opportunities and service providers.
Federal Resources and Local Support For Broadband: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Wednesday, June 2 on Zoom. Broadband projects often require a mix of investment sources. Our panel of experts will highlight some of the Federal, State, local, and philanthropic programs that could be available to support broadband infrastructure and digital inclusion programs. REGISTER
Tribal Broadband: This Session Specific To Tribal Communities - Invitation Only. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Wednesday, June 9 on Zoom
Arizona is prioritizing critical broadband projects in underserved tribal locations across the state. In this session, the Kristine FireThunder, director of the Governor’s Office on Tribal Relations, will facilitate a discussion on strategies to build tribally-owned networks and further support tribal learning centers and digital training, including information on available financing and funding, community resources and more.
Broadband Adoption and Use - The Secret To Sustainable Networks: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Wednesday, July 14 on Zoom
This session will draw from national and local models to explore new ways to bridge the digital divide and dive deep on topics such as: digital skills training, WiFi hotspots, broadband subsidies and tech mentoring. Practitioners in education, nonprofits and more will facilitate exercises to identify your community’s underserved segments and partners to reach those populations. REGISTER
Past Webinar Recordings
Broadband 101 - Broadband As A Foundation To Economic DevelopmentJoin us for the first session in the Arizona Broadband Workshop series, featuring a variety of experts from the Governor's Office on Tribal Relations, BroadbandUSA and local experts. Learn about broadband terms, networks, and speed, and hear from others in your community about how broadband is transforming education, healthcare, agriculture and our economy. Then roll up your sleeves and complete exercises to help you identify the priorities that impact broadband in your community. WATCH
Creating Broadband Action Teams and Building Local Partnerships: Arizona has worked collaboratively with public and private partners to coordinate broadband planning across the state. In this session, learn how to create a roadmap for your community’s broadband projects as you build a framework for community priorities, stakeholder engagement, asset inventories and more. WATCH
Using Data As A Foundation For Your Broadband Plan: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Wednesday, May 5 on Zoom. Open public data is readily available to jumpstart your broadband planning efforts. The key is understanding how to use the data effectively to tell your community story. Experts from BroadbandUSA will review the three main broadband data sets and demonstrate tools that you’ll be able to use to access the data for planning, business cases, partnership development, and grant applications. Online soon
Local First Arizona Arizona Economic Recovery Center - Grants Info Local First Economic Recovery Center The Arizona Economic Recovery Center aims to enable more qualified Arizona cities, towns, counties, and nonprofits to win competitive federal, state, and foundation grants. Qualifying communities:
USDA Seeks Applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it is accepting applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program grants to help provide educational and medical services in rural areas. June 14 Deadline Read the full stakeholder announcement here.
Other Broadband and Telemedicine Grant Opportunities
Telemedicine Training Programs May 24, September 13 and March 15, July 19, November 8 2021 Submitted by Task Force member Janet Major Information and Registration The Arizona Telemedicine Training Program and the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center offers 1-day training courses on telemedicine and telehealth. There are two tracks offered throughout the year; 1) Developing a Telemedicine Program and 2) Telemedicine Applications. ATP's staff and colleagues, many of whom are national experts in telehealth, distance education and the business of telemedicine, teach both tracks. The Arizona Telemedicine Training Program is accredited by the American Telemedicine Association. Advanced Registration is required to attend ATP training courses.
TRACK 1: Developing a Telemedicine Program January 11, May 24, September 13 2021 - This conference gives a broad overview of a variety of telemedicine topics. This course is excellent for individuals or groups who have some telehealth experience and are interested in expanding their services. It is also a great course for those new to telehealth who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of this growing industry.
TRACK 2: Telemedicine Applications March 15, July 19, November 8 2021 - This conference covers advanced telemedicine topics through an in-depth look at real-world clinical applications of telemedicine and telehealth. This course is excellent for individuals or groups who have some telehealth experience and are interested in expanding their services. It is also a great course for those new to telehealth who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of this growing industry.
CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series: March 23, June 1, August 31 | Webinar Series The Council of Development Finance Agencies offers a series on financing options to preserve rural communities, investments in health care, broadband, manufacturing, food systems and education.