Access to the Internet begins with a reliable, affordable broadband connection—but it also includes essential equipment to allow disadvantaged communities to put that connection to use, as well as the skills and knowledge to navigate the digital world safely and efficiently.
Ensuring Latino communities have equal access to the Internet and the digital resources it provides means more than simply ensuring that homes, schools, libraries and workplaces in every neighborhood can plug into broadband connections. Unless we make sure that individuals have the hardware they need, as well as the technological savvy to engage comfortably with online tools, our communities will be left on the wrong side of the digital divide. ALLvanza is committed to ensuring that broadband access and integration is part of the lived experience of all people in the United Sates.
With smart policies that are sensitive to the obstacles underserved communities face, that reality is within our grasp. That is why ALLvanza advocates for programs that help ensure everyone can benefit from the many resources available online.
Along with available Internet connections, underserved communities need devices to that allow them to take full advantage of online resources, such as laptop and desktop computers. Latinos, for example, have the highest rates of Internet access through phones, but these devices are not ideal for completing homework, job applications, work assignments and other activities.
Just as importantly, communities need to be empowered to integrate technology into their daily lives with confidence. That means not just having the technical skills to operate a particular device, but a sense of how to protect ones identity online, avoid scams, understand privacy policies, and ensure children are learning to operate online safely and responsibly.
ALLvanza supports the modernization and continued renewal of programs such as the Universal Service Fund, E-rate, and Lifeline. We also advocate for regulatory policies that promote equitable deployment of broadband to all communities, rural and urban alike.
ALLvanza makes sure the communities we care about are part of the conversation at key policy discussions, industry gatherings, events and conferences, and we work directly with congressional leaders to help them understand the important role that education and training plays in integrating broadband into our stakeholders’ daily lives. We also connect directly with our community through events like technology information sessions at local schools. Finally, we know that language can be a major barrier that blocks the free flow of ideas—that is why we advocate to ensure that our stakeholders receive the education and training they need in the language that is easiest for them to understand.