Broadband Access and Public Health: Legal and Policy Opportunities for Achieving Equitable Access
The coronavirus pandemic has heightened the need for internet connectedness throughout the United States. However, the digital divide limits opportunities for equitable participation in telehealth programs, educational opportunities, and job opportunities for households that lack access to affordable broadband services. The persistent digital divide in the United States impacts many determinants of health, particularly in communities of color, rural communities, and Tribal communities, that are most impacted by inequitable access and affordability. This webinar will discuss the public health consequences flowing from the digital divide and explore legal and policy solutions to close the digital divide.
This webinar will provide you with: • A brief overview of the public health disparities resulting from the digital divide. • A discussion of the importance of broadband in Indian Country, unique factors affecting Tribal communities, the impacts of disparate broadband access on Tribal communities, and solutions moving forward. • A discussion of federal policies and opportunities to increase access to telehealth services and eliminate the rural digital divide, including the Rural Healthcare Program, the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program, and the 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window. • An analysis of municipal efforts to eliminate disparities in broadband access, the FCC’s changing position on municipal broadband, and state laws that impede or encourage the development of municipal broadband. Moderator: • Betsy Lawton, J.D., Senior Staff Attorney, Network for Public Health Law—Northern Region Office Presenters: • Loris Taylor, President/CEO, Native Public Media Inc. • Edyael Casaperalta, Esq., Project Manager, AMERIND Critical Infrastructure. • Mathew Swinburne, J.D., Associate Director of the Network for Public Health Law Eastern Region Office