Digital Adoption Toolkit - Network:On

At Network:On we know the value of the Internet – and if you’re reading this, you probably do too! We know that broadband access improves a community’s economy, helps folks reach healthcare services, and creates education and job opportunities. But we also know that too many Americans remain unconnected – according to NTIA’s Internet Use Survey data, nearly 20% of Americans do not have a home broadband connection.

We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to connect all Americans to the benefits of robust high-speed broadband. Join us in our efforts to connect the 20% and close the digital adoption gap. 

In November 2023, Network:On partnered with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) and Broadband Breakfast to host the Connect20 Summit, sponsored by Comcast. Over 60 digital navigators, policymakers, and digital equity practitioners came together in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to address the digital adoption gap and champion programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). 

Day 1 – Bringing Together Digital Navigators, Practitioners and Equity Practitioners

Day 1 featured lively discussions about connecting the hardest-to-reach Americans, the power of public/private partnerships, and the role digital skills and navigation services play in closing the digital divide. Throughout the day, digital navigators from across the country shared stories from the field.

We were also joined by representatives from the Treasury Department, NTIA, and USDA who shared information and perspectives on federal initiatives aimed at connecting the last 20% of Americans to home internet.

If you missed the event, the videos from each panel are available from Broadband Breakfast:

Full Recap

Day 2 – Digital Navigators on the Hill

Day 2 was held on Capitol Hill at the Rayburn House Office Building! We began with remarks from Representative Grace Meng from New York.

Rep. Meng explained, “Digital navigators like yourselves are critical to closing the digital divide … our communities can’t thrive if we don’t have basic and affordable access to the internet.”

After hearing from Rep. Meng, navigators attended workshops on advocacy, storytelling and earned media, and how mapping and data can make their work even more impactful. Several digital navigators then met with members of Congress to discuss the importance of ACP and digital adoption. 

We want to thank everyone who joined us in person and virtually for the Connect20 Summit! Be sure to follow us @NetworkOnUSA for updates on future events. 

Barriers to Digital Adoption

How do we break down those barriers and connect the 20%? 

Programs like Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) play an important role in helping Americans get connected. Read more ACP and the importance of digital equity planning in our conversation with John Horrigan, senior fellow at the Benton Institute.

It’s clear: the digital navigator model works and is easily replicable and adaptable to unique communities and circumstances nationwide.

How Digital Navigators Lead to Broadband Adoption

Digital navigators work directly with community members to walk them through the process of getting connected. Every community is unique, so digital navigators might do different things in different communities. But the goal is the same: to break down barriers and get folks online. Learn more about digital navigators.

Success Stories

Social Media Amplification

Please share this toolkit on social media to to spread the word about the importance of digital adoption. Don’t forget to tag @NetworkOnUSA and use the hashtag #Connect20!

Additional Resources

Here is a compilation of our favorite external resources on a variety of topics for policymakers who are looking to Connect20.

For State, Local, and Tribal Leaders

Digital Navigators

Wider Digital Inclusion Efforts

Broadband Funding Info