Working Together to Help Bridge the Digital Divide for Hoosiers

Bill Soards – President, AT&T Indiana
February 28, 2023
Broadband Access and Affordability

Working Together to Help Bridge the Digital Divide for Hoosiers

We know that broadband truly powers our world right now. It propels growth, innovation and societal progress. Unfortunately, though, millions of families across the U.S. currently fall into the digital divide, lacking the connectivity, devices and digital skills needed to succeed in today’s modern world.

That’s why I was thrilled to recently join the Indianapolis Business Journal’s annual Technology Power Breakfast. It was exciting to be in a room full of hard-working Hoosiers from both the private and public sector to talk about how we can work together to help bridge the digital divide here in Indiana.

To address the digital divide, we’re working to remove barriers associated with access, affordability and adoption of broadband internet. We know the first piece of that puzzle is providing access, but sometimes, even when an affordable connection is available, families aren’t adopting the internet. Or once they are connected, they don’t have the skills or resources to make the most of the technology and understand the value.

We’ve learned though that the issues of access, adoption and affordability don’t occur in silos – they’re often related and can create a push-pull effect further hindering those already struggling to get online.

That’s why in Indiana, we’ve been very focused on the “access” element of the digital divide – we’ve been bringing fiber technology to as many Hoosiers as possible through investments in our networks and through collaboration with public and private entities. In fact, in just the last year-and-a-half, we’ve committed to collaborations with Martinsville and Boonville, and Delaware and Vanderburgh counties. We’re also working with the state through its Next Level Connections Broadband program to launch AT&T Fiber in even more locations.

Because we know we can’t do it alone. Working together brings us one step closer to bridging the divide.

But we aren’t stopping there. We’re making progress on our $2 billion commitment from 2021-2023 to help address the disparities put on display by the digital divide. We launched AT&T Connected Learning to invest in connectivity and technology, digital literacy, and education solutions to help today’s learners succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Since 2008, we’ve committed to programs that help millions of students across all 50 states and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.

Every Hoosier deserves to have access to fast and reliable internet. Because our digital-first world isn’t slowing down anytime soon – but neither are we. We look forward to making continued progress together as we work to help bridge the digital divide in Indiana.