Monday, January 21, 2008

MN Take Notice: California Broadband Report Released Today

The California Broadband Task Force today released their final report, "The State of
Connectivity – Building Innovation Through Broadband."
This comprehensive and well-written report "includes maps of current broadband availability and speed,recommendations to achieve universal access and increased use, and a timeframe in which to meet these critical goals."

The report is available online at

Minnesota state officials should take notice: if we wish to compete in a 21st Century economy, our first step should be to find out where we are today with broadband connectivity across the state (asset mapping).

From a "Digital Inclusion" perspective, this report calls for increased funding to support existing technology literacy efforts, expand computer refurbishing and placement programs (working with community colleges, a great idea!) , and increase technology support for rural schools and small businesses.

Required reading for anyone interested in economic sustainability, education, technology, health care or social inclusion-- i.e., pretty much everyone.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Project History

The Digital Access Project (DA) was founded in 1998 by a handful of community media volunteers interested in ensuring that all area residents benefited from emerging technologies and the Internet.

Launched as a demonstration project, DA volunteers and Interns used a wireless-enabled, mobile media lab to introduce media technology tools and skills to area youth and adults. We collaborated with non-formal education providers such as City Parks, Libraries and Community Technology Centers (CTCs), providing specialized workshop and summer camp programs. By 2001, DA programming was in such high demand that we were unable to meet the needs of area agencies. In response, we began a community organizing effort to identify and support CTCs interested in offering similar technology programs at their public access labs. In subsequent years, the Digital Access Project has sponsored several regional Community Technology Conferences, secured a major federal AmeriCorps grant, and led a Community Benefits Agreement effort in conjunction with the City of Minneapolis’ Wireless Initiative.

Our current focus is to report on and influence local, state and federal technology policy to ensure support for Digital Inclusion efforts. It is our position that ubiquitous, affordable broadband access must be coupled with support for techology literacy programming and local, relevant content development in order to empower our communities for 21st century learning, employment and social/civic engagement.