Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed this week, Oct. 5-9, Digital Inclusion Week in North Carolina.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the increased need for high-speed connectivity, devices to access the internet and digital literacy as North Carolinians seek to consult healthcare providers, telework, participate in remote learning and connect with friends and family,” Gov. Cooper said. “It is my priority to close the digital divide and strive for digital equity.”
Building on the national observance of Digital Inclusion Week, North Carolina Digital Inclusion Week aims to underscore the importance of digital equity and to prompt digital inclusion efforts across the state to improve broadband access, foster adoption, increase computer ownership and promote digital literacy.
More than 20 percent of North Carolina households still lack internet service, and 12.6 percent of households do not have computers or devices, creating a digital divide between residents with internet service and the ability to access it and those without.
Digital inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all North Carolinians have access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet service and the tools and skills they need to use it.
“Too many of our communities face physical, financial and educational barriers to broadband access and adoption. As we adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital inclusion is more important ever,” acting NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Thomas Parrish said. “With our dedicated partners, we are working to ensure that all residents have the skills and resources they need to fully participate in our increasingly digital workforce and society.”
The week builds on efforts of the administration and the N.C. Department of Information Technology’s Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO) to expand broadband access in the state, promote digital inclusion, increase access to telehealth and support public safety.
View the proclamation here, and follow along on Twitter and Facebook this week for more on digital inclusion.
About the Broadband Infrastructure Office
NCDIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office leads the statewide initiatives to expand high-speed internet access, adoption and use for all North Carolinians and serves as a statewide resource for broadband access, first responder communications and state-led classroom connectivity initiatives. In 2019, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 91 (EO91), which lays out clear directives to expand broadband across the state through a task force comprised of cabinet agencies, which the office facilitates and supports. In partnership with the Friday Institute, the office is currently conducting a survey to gather better data on broadband availability and quality in the state. To learn more and to take the survey, visit ncbroadband.gov/survey.