Digital Equity

We build awareness of and work to close the digital divide by advocating for paradigm-shifting policies and convening cross-sectoral leaders to increase investments into innovative solutions.

Advocate

For the creation and passage of legislation on digital inclusion.

Convene

A digital inclusion-focused coalition of philanthropic stakeholders.

Launch

Programs that surface innovative connectivity technologies.

Scale

Best-in-field initiatives working to eliminate the digital divide.

Our Work

Connecting California

Connecting California brings together business leaders, digital equity practitioners, internet service providers, philanthropic investors and policymakers—all of whom represent different facets of the complex landscape around digital equity. We’re spearheading in-depth conversations about the digital divide—its history, related policies, cross-sectoral priorities and, most importantly, emerging and proven solutions.

Digital Divide: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This program focused on building a foundation for in-depth understanding of national, state and local contexts and precedents in digital (in)equity, and introducing attendees to ongoing initiatives combatting the COVID-19 crisis and its effects on our country and society.

Stronger Together: The Role of Cross-Sector Parnerships in Digital Equity

This focused on deepening our understanding of how effective public-private partnerships can be designed and implemented to excellence, specifically at the local and regional levels. Subject matter experts from government and digital equity practitioners who shared case studies of proven models and solutions implemented both in-state and around the country.

Education Trust West

Student Polling

Conducted a student poll that reached a representative sample of California students enrolled at community colleges and four-year public and private institutions. Students were asked about resources and support they’re receiving from their institutions and their perceptions of the effectiveness of their institution’s strategies.

Digital Mapping

Created a digital map that illustrates the higher education system’s response, including gaps in digital access and implementation of distance learning. The map will be used to provide a view of outcomes (impact of school closures on high school graduation rates and UC/CSU enrollment) and will be organized by schools, community college districts, and higher education institutions.

Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD)

Funding Human I-T

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelson 20MM teamed up with the Foundation for L.A. Community Colleges and other funders to assist LACCD students who were forced to transition to remote learning mid-term. The partnership provided 20,000 students with access to Chromebooks, internet hotspots, low-cost home internet connections, and digital literacy workshops.

Providing 3,000 Chromebooks

With LACCD’s guidance, 20MM’s support will help provide refurbished Chromebooks to 3,000 LACCD students. In addition to device distribution, Human I-T will also offer tech support, hardware warranties, online digital literacy programs and other scaffolding supports over the next year.

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Additional Resources

Glossary of Terms

Internet Global computer network providing information and communication facilities
Broadband An umbrella term for a kind of internet access that is always on and fast
Types of Internet Technology
Dial-up Provides internet, but not fast enough to qualify as broadband
Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) Sends data over unshielded power lines. While physically possible, not a stable way to get content. Typically provides speeds slower than satellite
Satellite

Sends data wirelessly to receivers. Easily disrupted by weather. 

Average download speeds 500 Kbps, upload speeds 80 Kbps

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

Sends data over traditional copper telephone lines. 

Typical speeds range from several hundred Kbps to Mbps

Wireless

Fixed wireless sends data over radio links, with a fixed receiver endpoint. 

Typical speeds are comparable to DSL or cable

  • Mobile wireless: endpoints can move but it provides lower speeds, in the range of several hundred Kbps
  • Wireless Internet Services Providers (WISPs): provide wireless broadband at speeds around 1 Mbps using unlicensed devices. Most frequently found in or built for areas not served by cable or wired networks
Cable Sends data using the same coaxial cables as TV. Typical speeds of 1.5 Mbps or more
Fiber Sends data over optic cables. Typical speeds are tens or even hundreds of Mbps faster than DSL & cable

Other Resources