(Washington, DC) The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) named Washington, DC as a 2023 Digital Inclusion Trailblazer, recognizing the city's efforts to close the digital divide. This year, Washington, DC joins a record number of Digital Inclusion Trailblazers, with 47 total awardees representing municipal, county, and regional governments paving the way for digitally inclusive communities across the US – making it the 6th time that the District is recognized in the digital equity space.
“We are honored to be named one of NDIA’s 2023 Trailblazers and thank NDIA for recognizing our commitment to making DC more digitally inclusive for our residents. As we enter the new year, we are excited to make an even greater impact on the community, so that everyone can live, work, and thrive in the digital age across all eight Wards.” said the Office of the Chief Technology Officer’s (OCTO) Deputy Chief Technology Officer of Infrastructure Services, Henry Lofton.
As the pandemic demonstrated, digital inclusion – access to affordable high-speed internet, devices, and digital skills training – is essential to participating and thriving in today's world. Recognizing the ongoing needs of the community, Washington, DC didn't stop digital inclusion efforts at the end of the quarantine.
OCTO’s State Broadband and Digital Equity Office (SBDEO) received the recognition by organizing digital literacy workshops across all eight Wards, creating the Tech Together DC partnership for collaborating with the industry, government, nonprofits, and academia, releasing its DC State Digital Equity Plan for public feedback and promoting the Affordable Connectivity Program – which resulted in over fifty percent of eligible households enrolling in the program.
“Nonprofits, libraries, churches, and other community organizations can't reach digital equity on their own. For everyone to thrive in today's digital world, we need all hands on deck,” said Angela Siefer, NDIA executive director. "NDIA's Digital Inclusion Trailblazers exemplify the key role local governments have in building connected communities for all of their residents."