The Digital Equity Act Competitive Grant Program supports local government efforts to achieve digital equity and promote digital inclusion and broader access to internet. The program seeks to address the divide between those who have internet access and those who do not, a divide that hinders an equitable economy. These projects might include expanded access to internet and digital network technology for broadband services, training programs for workforce development programs, and/or necessary upgrades to public access computing centers. Download the grant summary here.

Bootcamp Structure

Courses

Peer Learning Sessions (Webinars): Interactive sessions featuring Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on the policy and grant approach, followed by smaller sessions for peer discussions

Coaching Sessions: Smaller sessions that continue to build on specific application questions identified in the peer learning session

Office Hours (Consultant Meetings): Support in the form of designated time slots with our SMEs and your team to address specific questions about your grant application

Support

Navigator Team: Our Navigator team is available to help answer the following kinds of questions:

  • Bootcamp timelines
  • Bootcamp schedules
  • Participation expectations

Our Navigator team for this grant can be reached at: atreay@nlc.org

Prepare for Success

Download a full outline of the bootcamp schedule, goals, and key steps to ensure you are ready to attend the following courses and successfully prepare and submit your grant application.

Modules and Resources

Module 1

Orientation and Grant Overview

Cities are introduced to the Digital Equity Act and the funding programs that it created, as well as digital equity concepts, trends and challenges in the US. Cities also receive an overview of the bootcamp content and structure.

 

View the Module 1 Peer Learning Session
Download the Module 1 Slide Deck

Module 2

Application 101

Cities understand the key components of an expected digital equity grant application, based on previous NTIA applications and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requirements. Cities will learn how to 1) prioritize equity, climate, and workforce development, and 2) leverage federal and state priorities throughout their applications.

 

View the Module 2 Peer Learning Session
Download the Module 2 Slide Deck

Additional Resources

Digital Equity Application Workbook

Module 3

Deep Dive: Device Programs

Cities are exposed to example programs related to device access, tech support, and maintenance and learn about program partnerships and best practices. If available, cities will explore examples of digital equity programs at the city level.

View the Module 3 Peer Learning Session
Download the Module 3 Slide Deck

Module 4

Deep Dive: Digital Skills & Digital Navigators Programs

Cities learn about example programs related to building digital skills and digital navigator cohorts and learn about program partnerships and best practices. If available, cities will explore examples of winning applications in digital equity context.

View the Module 4 Peer Learning Session
Download the Module 4 Slide Deck

Module 5

Incorporating Data

Cities gain familiarity with data collection tools and analysis methods for understanding barriers to digital equity in their community. They will use the NTIA tool to analyze federal data to identify “covered populations” as defined by the Digital Equity Act and will explore how to relate data findings with NTIA’s requirements.

View the Module 5 Peer Learning Session
Download the Module 5 Slide Deck

Additional Resources

Sample Budget Template
Federal Grant Navigation Equity Dashboard
Digital Equity Act Population Viewer

Module 6

Engaging the Community

Cities learn the roles of different players in the digital equity ecosystem. Cities will (1) develop community engagement strategies to ensure that community perspectives on digital access and literacy are incorporated into potential applications, (2) draft an asset map of their community, and (3) explore the importance of partnerships and coalitions in digital equity work.

 

View the Module 6 Peer Learning Session
Download the Module 6 Slide Deck

Additional Resources

Community Engagement Workbook

Module 7

Funding Cycle and Budgeting

Cities understand the Digital Equity program funding cycle, analyze the funding formula and matching requirements, and develop a draft project budget (for each fiscal year in which the applicant will expend the grant, a budget for the activities that will be funded), reviewing NTIA budget narrative templates (if available). The Module will also explore how applicants can supplement a potential award through other available funds.

View the Module 7 Peer Learning Session
Download the Module 7 Slide Deck

Module 8

Planning for Grant Applications & Capacity Building

Cities identify best practices for developing a compelling grant narrative and how to demonstrate capability of carrying out the project in a competent manner and in compliance with all applicable laws. Cities understand the next steps in positioning themselves competitively for digital equity grant application opportunities, and review their work on the application workbook. Cities will explore relevant upcoming opportunities for grant funding or state engagement, developing a strategy for long-term capacity building leveraging their application experience.

View the Module 8 Peer Learning Session
Download the Module 8 Slide Deck

Bootcamp Calendar