Advocacy Alert: Ask the Texas Legislature to Address the Digital Divide  | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Advocacy Alert: Ask the Texas Legislature to Address the Digital Divide 

Sign your name to show your support for legislation that will address digital access, adoption and readiness. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on Texas’ broadband and digital connectivity challenges. Reliable internet access, as well as basic computer skills, are vital in our digital world. The pandemic has emphasized just how important digital connectivity is for people’s education, income and health

Over the last year, millions of Texans have been forced to rely on their internet connection for a variety of necessities, including pediatric visits, virtual school, workforce training, job interviews, court hearings, mental health services and more. In some cases, supports for children, families and individuals were strengthened by the expansion of online services.

However, individuals who didn’t already have quality internet access or a computer—or know how to use it—were simply left behind. Consider these statistics:

  • Almost 1 million Texans currently do not have access to broadband internet.
  • 20% of Texas non-adopters (1.4 million adults) cite lack of digital literacy as main barrier, with older Texans more likely to cite digital literacy as a barrier.
  • Workers of color are overrepresented among those with limited or no digital skills.
  • The cost of internet service, plus the requirements around financial status in setting up accounts (e.g., credit check requirements) prevents many Texans from accessing the Internet.

The Texas legislature is considering legislation to address our state’s broadband challenges, primarily by investing in broadband infrastructure. However, at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we are concerned about our neighbors that will still be left behind even as the state develops improved broadband infrastructure.

TAKE ACTION NOW TO ADDRESS THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

A hearing on House Bill 5 will take place this Thursday, March 18, and the bill would establish a broadband office and a state plan. Join us as we call on state leaders to go beyond infrastructure and ensure broadband efforts this session address digital access, adoption, and readiness.

You have two opportunities to take action BEFORE THURSDAY, MARCH 18:

  • Complete this form to send an email or a tweet to your State Senator and Representative.
  • Complete this form to add your organization to a sign-on letter.

Thank you in advance for joining with us to speak up and speak out. At United Way, we advocate for education, income and health policies to expand opportunities and drive systemic change in our community. Lasting change only happens when we work together, and you are an important partner in our advocacy efforts.

Sign Up for Advocacy Alerts

Stay up to date on advocacy opportunities in North Texas. You’ll receive information on our top policy priorities plus notifications on when and how to connect with your elected officials.


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ABOUT UNITED WAY OF METROPOLITAN DALLAS

Daughter on shoulders of father Live United

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based social change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all North Texans. Working with our determined supporters, we lead the charge to improve education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity. We invite all change-seekers in our community to Live United to achieve lasting results right here at home.

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This article was published on: Mar 15, 2021