Resistbot Petition: Let Community Members Determine How to Spend Broadband Funds (N.Y. only)Resistbot Petition: Let Community Members Determine How to Spend Broadband Funds (N.Y. only)

An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (N.Y. only)

Let Community Members Determine How to Spend Broadband Funds

14 so far! Help us get to 25 signers!

As a resident concerned with digital inclusion and equity in my community, I am writing to ask that you do everything in your power to ensure that federal and state funding to improve broadband access, broadband speed, and other digital resources throughout New York State be allocated in ways that best support your constituents. I urge you to advocate for a participatory budgeting process that guarantees an inclusive, equitable, and transparent means of improving digital inclusion and equity in the communities you represent. Participatory budgeting is a democratic process that is proven to increase civic engagement; enhance relationships amongst citizens, community-based organizations, and government; and drive more effective and equitable spending decisions. Incoming state and federal dollars must be directed not to internet service providers (ISPs), but to counties, cities, towns, and villages to ensure that each community’s unique assets are used to meet its unique needs. Access without adoption, equipment, and knowledge will never be sufficient to maximize Western New York’s economic, cultural, or human potential. New York State’s previous broadband efforts have directed most funding to ISPs, which has helped to expand broadband infrastructure. While this progress is laudable, infrastructure expansion has not resulted in high levels of broadband adoption amongst Western New York’s poorest and most vulnerable populations, nor has it meaningfully improved equipment access or digital literacy. Digital inclusion programs providing equipment and training, especially to disadvantaged populations, are essential adjuncts to increased broadband access. In addition, the current definition for broadband (25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up) is insufficient to meet any but the most basic needs. Broadband standards must be updated to a minimum of 100 Mbps down/100 Mbps up in order to provide a meaningful level of inclusion. Community members are prepared to work with you to develop a regional response addressing the multiple facets of digital inequities facing our communities. This requires an open framework that supports those who are responding to these inequities by providing tools and forums that can facilitate data gathering, connect potential collaborators, showcase best practices, build public awareness, and other activities that elevate digital equity as a policy priority. Western New York’s abundance of concerned citizens, passionate and informed advocates, community-based organizations, educational institutions, philanthropic foundations, and businesses stand ready to help shape, promote, and execute digital inclusion and equity efforts. I respectfully ask that you work with the New York State Broadband Office, New York State Department of Education, and other federal and state governing authorities to drive these financial resources into community members’ hands so they can work together to create a digitally equitable Western New York.

▶ Created on August 4, 2021 by WNY Digital Inclusion & Equity Coalition

Text Sign PABTBI to tell your officials50409

Already signed?

  • Text PROMOTE PABTBI to get this texted to more members
  • Share this page or imageA shareable card that reads "tell State Governors & Legislatures (N.Y. only): Let Community Members Determine How to Spend Broadband Funds" followed by "text sign PABTBI to 50409"
  • Text INVITE PABTBI to ask your friends to sign via text or email
  • Print this and post around campus or on your community bulletin board
  • Use the iOS app to share with your contacts
  • Join our Discord and connect with fellow organizers
  • Upgrade to Premium to unlock more features and make sure we can keep delivering

Share this