The West Virginia Office of Broadband is working with Data Driven WV and other West Virginia University programs, including Startup West Virginia and the WVU Land Use and Sustainability Law Clinic, as well as experts from Marshall University, to develop the West Virginia’s plan for implementation of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program and the Digital Equity (DE) programs.
Join Joshua T. Meadows, Service Assistant Professor and Director of Data Driven WV in the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, for an in depth look at digital equity in West Virginia in his recent TEDx talk.
The BEAD and DE programs offer unparalleled federal funding to address the digital divide. By expanding broadband infrastructure and promoting meaningful adoption and use of high-speed internet service, these programs are aligned to maximize impact. Together, these programs create a comprehensive approach to addressing the many facets of the digital divide and ensuring equal access to the opportunities and benefits of the digital age.
The BEAD program ensures accessible, affordable broadband networks and encourages collaboration between public and private entities. In parallel, the DE program offers digital literacy training and resources to individuals from groups and communities that are most often underrepresented. Coordinated efforts allow both programs to benefit from common data collection, identifying areas of greatest need and making data-driven decisions. Partnerships with local governments, businesses, educational institutions, and community organizations support the dual goals of expanding broadband access and improving digital skills. By fostering innovation and evaluating the impact of BEAD and DE initiatives, program strategies can be continuously refined to achieve connectivity for all West Virginians.