CARES Act Digital Inclusion Programs
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families, small businesses and preserves jobs for American industries. The City received $40 million in CARES Act funding and $1 million was allocated towards digital inclusion efforts. City staff in partnership with community-based organizations (CBOs) implemented the following programs below during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Free Hotspots and Computing Devices Distribution
In December 2020, City staff developed the Free Internet Services and Computing Devices Program in partnership with human-I-T, the Long Beach Public Library, Long Beach Housing Authority and nine CBOs. Collectively, they administered close to 1,100 hotspots and 1,600 computing devices on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified low-income community members with proof of income eligibility while supplies lasted.
Digital Inclusion Resources Hotline
In October 2020, City staff established a multilingual Digital Inclusion Resources Hotline in partnership with the Long Beach Public Library and the United Cambodian Community (UCC) that included eight digital inclusion navigators who provided real-time interpretation services in Khmer and Spanish. The digital inclusion navigators responded to more than 2,400 inquiries where they connected community members to digital inclusion resources and services during COVID-19.
Digital Inclusion Community Outreach Program
In October 2020, City staff contracted with nine CBOs who implemented robust community outreach activities that connected digital inclusion resources and services to community members most in need during COVID-19. Collectively, the CBOs reached more than 21,000 community members citywide.
Digital Inclusion Multilingual Resource Guides
In March 2021, City staff co-created multilingual resource guides in Khmer, Spanish and Tagalog in partnership with the United Cambodian Community (UCC) and other CBOs that includes a comprehensive list of digital inclusion resources and services.
Virtual Digital Literacy Training Course
In December 2020, City staff implemented a virtual free digital literacy training course in partnership with human-I-T that provided education to community members on computer, Internet and email basics. More than 500 community members signed up for the course.
Digital Inclusion Community-based Survey
In 2018, the City’s Technology and Innovation Commission (TIC) conducted a community-based digital inclusion survey to assess how Long Beach residents are currently accessing the Internet and the barriers they face to connect to Internet services. The survey was provided in the four languages covered under the City’s Language Access Policy which includes English, Khmer, Spanish and Tagalog. The survey was distributed at local community hubs around Long Beach. The summary report includes strategic recommendations for advancing digital inclusion efforts citywide. The survey analysis and recommendations are incorporated into the Roadmap.
Citywide Fiber Network Infrastructure Plan
City staff are in the process of identifying potential partners for the Citywide Fiber Network Infrastructure Plan that will expand the City's fiber municipal network infrastructure. Increased fiber will improve wired and wireless connectivity throughout Long Beach to advance the City's business and functional operational needs, public safety requirements, digital inclusion goals, and economic development goals. The City owns approximately 50 miles of fiber optic cable throughout Long Beach and another 13 miles is currently being built. To ensure that high quality services are available to all areas of the City, it is important to expand capacity and connect all City facilities to the fiber infrastructure network. The City expects to make recommendations in the next 12 months. The PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of the Citywide Fiber Network Infrastructure project.
Digital Inclusion Initiative Memorandums
+View CARES Act Program Outcomes Update for May 2021
+View Digital Inclusion Initiative Update for May 2020
+View Digital Inclusion Initiative Update for December 2019
+View Digital Inclusion Initiative Update for February 2019
+View Digital Inclusion Initiative Update for May 2018