The Three-Legged Stool of Digital Equity
Fast and affordable internet access is crucial in
connecting families. WA faces many internet deserts in
rural, suburban, and urban areas. We need wifi,
hotspots, and broadband infrastructure that is high-quality and accessible for everyone.
Devices and Hardware
The high cost of technology is a huge barrier to achieving digital equity. Accessible and affordable devices, like tablets and laptops, for the entire family is critical in ensuring statewide access to the internet.
Building an accessible digital literacy continuum to help people navigate basic digital skills will provide the support needed to get our communities online.
Connect Washington Coalition (CWC) is a collaborative of digital access stakeholders across the state working to increase digital access for Black, Indigenous, Communities of Color, low-income communities, students, and elders. CWC grew out of the Internet Action Crisis Team, launched in April 2020 by Washington State Representative Mia Gregerson, an informal weekly gathering to coordinate and share information around digital access. Using the momentum of the Internet Action Crisis Team, the Connect Washington Coalition has been building statewide strategies for digital equity, responding to our communities’ urgent digital access needs and working towards a Washingtonian where everyone has universal, affordable, and sufficient internet, devices, and the skills to participate in our communities.
CWC convenes representatives from multiple organizations and agencies who work on internet access and/or digital inclusion, forming a collaborative of public and private partners, that is led by experts in digital inclusion and centered around communities farthest from digital equity. CWC includes representatives from:
- National Digital Inclusion Alliance
- Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
- King County Information Technology
- Seattle Information Technology
- Hoh Tribe Lobbyist
- Lummi Nation Lobbyist
- Equity in Education Coalition
- Communities in Schools of Kent
- AARP Washington
- King County Housing Authority
The strength of the Connect Washington Coalition lies in its diversity of stakeholders, including on-the-ground community-based organizations, Tribal leaders, national experts in digital inclusion, large nonprofits reaching millions of people, public officials, government offices, and internet service providers.