As we previewed last week, the CBAN team visited San Antonio, Texas for Net Inclusion 2023 last week (February 27-March 2nd). Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be sharing some of our observatons about the event and what CBAN learned about digital inclusion efforts across America. This week, two of CBAN's co-founders will give their perspectives
Todd Kielkopf, Co-Founder
As the Program Manager for the CBAN cohort member for the National Digital Inclusion Digital Navigator program, being at the 2023 Net Inclusion conference in-person gave me a greater appreciation for the exponential growth of the national digital equity movement. NDIA leadership shared how attendance grew from around 300 at their last conference to over 800 this year. There’s a growing base of collaborative resources, advocacy, and capital building towards success metrics that dramatically impact individuals and communities. Public entities will be matched by provider and tech industries that are genuinely enthused about joining this passionate community.
Curtis Dean, Co-Founder and Vice President
Our week at Net Inclusion was memorable for a number of reasons. The CBAN Team made many new friends and identified new allies in our own digital inclusion efforts. We also had many great conversations with fellow attendees about CBAN's efforts to promote better broadband access through independent, community-focused providers.
On a personal note, the weather was AMAZING...until it wasn't. Temperatures in the 80's, hitting 90 degrees one day, meant the CBAN team of northern Midwest natives spent as much time working outside as possible. The weather was an ally until Thursday, March 2nd when we were all heading north. Severe storms put a ground hold on flights from San Antonio to Dallas (or planned first hop) and it didn't appear we were going to get out at all that day. So, like all organizations, we had to pivot quickly. We got refunds/credits on our Southwest flights, rented a car, and drove 12+ hours from San Antonio to Kansas City (where we had departed from). It was a long day, hightlighted by "punching the core" of the severe weather 45 minutes north of Fort Worth. Despite 60+ MPH winds and heavy rain, we persevered.
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.