Here are some ideas for panel questions/topics, feel free to post comments with suggestions.
1. For the first time historically, the number of new customers signing up for broadband accounts is stagnant. Cost appears to the be main factor as households scale back on discretionary spending. What effect has the current recession had on the services your program(s) can provide, and the number/demographics of people your program(s) serve? (Has financial support been more challenging to secure? Have you seen a significant increase in program participants? Are you seeing any difference in who’s coming to your program for support?)
2. As we know from our work on this issue, the myriad of issues that affect digital inclusion differ by community—which is why we have so many different approaches within our programs...If we want to influence public policy on this issue, what unifying themes / approaches or messages should we pursue?
3. How do community efforts to address digital inclusion impact “social capital” in underserved communities, and how do we communicate this when we approach funders, policy makers and other stakeholders?
4. What is the role/responsibility of local, state, regional governments to address Digital Inclusion? (How do we make the case that this issue is critical in light of so many competing demands on government during a time of budget deficits?)