Out of concern about the impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on technology and society, Media Democracy Fund and The NetGain Partnership hosted a webinar on the State of Connectivity in the US. The webinar on May 6, 2020, was the first installment of a series designed to explore gaps in broadband access, technology issues that have emerged as a result of COVID-19, and how various stakeholders have tried to address them. 

Francella Ochillo, Next Century Cities’ Executive Director, discussed the need for universal broadband access. Angela Siefer, National Digital Inclusion Alliance; Olivia Wein, National Consumer Law Center; and Brian Howard, American Indian Policy Institute, were also featured panelists. Panelists discussed policy reforms needed to bridge the digital divide, especially those required to connect rural, low-income, and Indegenous households that cannot access the Internet at home for education, remote work, and telehealth.

Click here to view poll results from the webinar and here to watch the recording. Other webinar topics include broadband access, gig worker protections, the US democratic process, disinformation, big tech’s increasing power, internet infrastructure, surveillance and privacy, and more.