SEAGO will be running Pilot ACP onboarding programs throughout the region, starting with the Douglas Public Library on July 25th and 27th from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
The FCC has recently updated its Emergency Broadband Benefit program into the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides a $30 subsidy to qualifying individuals and families for their internet service plans. ACP also provides up to $100 off qualifying devices.
Specific internet and cell phone providers have joined the effort to support the ACP in closing the digital divide throughout the nation.
You can find out more information by going to https://www.fcc.gov/acp
During the attempt to understand the hurdles SouthEastern Arizonans in the SEAGO region face when trying to gain access to high speed internet, several opportunities emerged for a Digital Navigator Program to pursue:
- There are roughly 8,000 self-reported individuals without a computer and or without broadband service throughout the SEAGO region
- Many of these individuals don’t have an email address, which is required when signing up for ACP
- A service-oriented, in-person approach is needed to maximize number of signups into ACP
- Digital skills literacy training improves adoption rate by helping people understand how to use their device and service
SEAGO’s Digital Navigator Program will begin with a pilot, at the Douglas Public Library, targeting the 85607 zip code in Cochise County on July the 25th, and then again on July 27th from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
If you're interested in attending or would like more information, please contact Marisa De Lac Cruz at 520-779-3754 or email email@example.com
Most self-reported measures of under and unserved communities are through the American Community Survey, released by the Census.
SEAGO’s current focus is on developing relationships with local providers that can assist in getting people connected to a well-informed rep, able to sign patrons up with service, and support their onboarding for qualifying ACP applicants.
If you’re interested in hosting SEAGO’s pilot Digital Navigator Services at your local library or other permissible location, here are some things to be aware of and to start putting together:
- Computer labs allow for an influx of patrons to get signed up while a Digital Navigator is present and able to assist
- The FCC is allowing Digital Navigators to input patron information into ACP applications, and having patrons hit the final submit button once information is verified.
- Most library policies prohibit any library staff from inputting patron information directly, so having a Digital Navigator present can compensate for this challenge
- Your patrons should have a reliable email address they can access for confirmation and correspondence during the process
- Some patrons will need to upload documentation to successfully qualify for ACP — they should gather these documents ahead of time to be prepared
- Contact your local Digital Navigator at 520-779-3754 if you need help preparing documentation before the pilot date
- Self-reported provider coverage is not always accurate this expectation should be made up front with patrons, encouraging them to go with providers they’re familiar with currently working in their area
- Not all providers support ACP, and many support it to varying degrees such as offering discounted service, but not providing a device subsidy
- Weekdays are best for signing up for ACP and receiving same-day approval
- Applying for ACP on the weekends could result in your application approval being delayed by several days
- There are great resources besides SEAGO to better understand ACP, apply, and connect with a carrier that’s right for you, including Connect Arizona (https://connect-arizona.com/)
Please call in to (520) 779-3754 so we can assist you with any Digital Navigator services you might need. And or email firstname.lastname@example.org