Governor Kotek holds Coos Bay roundtable on digital equity

COOS BAY, Ore. – In an attempt to further communication around digital equity issues in southwestern Oregon, Governor Tina Kotek held a roundtable discussion in Coos Bay Thursday.

“I am committed to our state’s goal to provide all Oregonians with access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet,” Governor Kotek said. “Digital equity is a cornerstone to achieving positive social, civic, economic, and educational outcomes for our state. Today’s conversation about the innovative approaches local communities in Southwest Oregon are taking to address our digital divide is another reminder that Oregon is ready for more federal resources to implement these plans.”

Part of the discussion touched on the initiatives being organized by local and state governments. Participants also included Business Oregon Director Sophorn Cheang and representatives from the Oregon Broadband Office, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI), the Coos Bay Library, United Way of Southwestern Oregon, Boys & Girls Club of Southwestern Oregon, Coos Hispanic Allies, and the North Bend School District.

Coos Bay Public Library Director, Sami Pierson called equitable access to digital technology critical.

“Public libraries are an integral part of our society and are a key player in bridging the digital divide. We want an Oregon where everyone has access to computers, and the Coos Bay Public Library is looking forward to continuing to work with the Oregon Broadband Office and our local partners to meet that vision.”

As of Thursday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its approval of Initial Proposal Volume II. This means Oregon will receive the funding needed to administer the program and the state can also begin the sub-grantee selection process.

This proposal is under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program which is providing $689 million to affordable, high-speed, reliable broadband internet to 100% of Oregonians.

For more information on the BEAD program, click here.


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