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Thu, Apr 08

Duke Students Contribute Chapter to the Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion

This past fall, a group of students in Professor Matt Perault’s class on Technology Policy for the New Administration co-authored Chapter 14 of the Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion, a project spearheaded by the National Urban League. We asked co-author Niharika Vattikonda to share a little bit about their work.

Over the course of the semester, we learned more about the digital divide and created policy recommendations to better institutionalize progress made on the broadband access, adoption, and utilization goals established by the plan. In Professor Perault’s technology policy course, we learned about the policymaking process and were able to hear from experts working in various parts of the policy ecosystem. We learned that technology policy cannot exist in a vacuum. We need to create the support structures needed to ensure, for example, that the data we collect about broadband access captures the whole picture.

As a team, we have mapped out a new framework for collecting broadband data and plans for an Office of Digital Equity to unify efforts to close the digital divide at the federal level and bolster the recommendations presented in the Latimer Plan. We have leveraged our experience in technology policy and a diverse set of backgrounds in data science, economics, education, public policy, business, and many other fields to contribute to what we hope will be a guiding force to close the digital divide in America.


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