Podcast 237 graphic

Perspectives on Broadband Infrastructure for Students – Podcast Episode 237 | Classnotes Podcast 237

Podcast 237 graphicClassnotes Podcast (October 2, 2023). Access to technology and the Internet are not luxuries. They are critical to life today, especially in education. But that access is limited in low-income communities and their schools. Solutions require us to consider all facets, from broadband policy at the state level to community input and action. IDRA’s conversation around the digital divide starts by analyzing the issue of equitable broadband infrastructure from the perspective and expertise of local industry leader, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Lit Communities (based in San Antonio), Rene Gonzalez, and Thomas Marshall III, M.Ed., and Christina Quintanilla-Muñoz, M.Ed., of IDRA. The conversation is facilitated by IDRA chief technology strategist, Michelle Vega.

Note that this episode was recorded during the 2021 Texas legislative session. For an update on what happened with policies they mentioned, see Texas Legislature Takes Some Steps Toward Addressing the Digital Divide, Thomas Marshall, June-July 2021.

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Show Notes

  • Rene gives an overview of his work with building critical infrastructure, and how it intersects with digital inclusion.

  • Rene notes the importance of connecting the “last mile” of fiber into homes and schools.

  • Christina talks about efforts to establish a state broadband office during the legislative session.

  • Thomas explains why it is critical that urban areas aren’t overlooked when discussing the expansion of broadband access.

  • Rene talks about the ongoing disparity of infrastructure quality and connectivity across communities, despite what the commercial numbers say.

  • Thomas and Christina discuss the evolving definition of digital equity and inclusion.

  • Christina, Thomas and Rene consider the role that teachers can play in closing the digital divide.