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Washington, D.C. Provides Access Improving Accessibility

With the announcement of the Community Internet Program, Washington, D.C. granted ISPs “free access to the roofs of DC-owned buildings, operated by the Department of General Services, to install service antennas if they commit to providing resident connectivity with reliable, high-speed connections (200 Mbps up/200 Mbps down or higher) at reduced or no cost to households eligible for the federal Affordable Connectivity Program.” While the move provides greater internet connectivity to all DC residents, it has specific implications for DC students requiring internet access to complete school-assigned activities at home. 

The move is also likely to aid DC Public School (DCPS) officials as they work to realize the goals set forth by the “DCPS Digital Equity Act of 2022,” which calls on district officials to ensure all DCPS students have “sufficient internet access to support in-school and out-of-school learning.” The Act also requires DCPS’s Comprehensive Student Technology Equity Plan to articulate the digital literacy skills necessary to support their learning – an example of access and digital health, safety, & citizenship planning happening concurrently to close the digital access divide.