Delivering on an unprecedented moment for broadband and digital equity in states, cities, and rural communities.
Over the next decade, the federal government, states, localities, philanthropies, and private businesses are projected to spend $200 billion on new broadband and digital equity programs. HR&A’s broadband and digital equity practice is built to provide a full suite of strategic planning, staffing, program management, and implementation services to maximize the impact of this historic funding.
Whether we’re helping State Broadband Offices deliver their broadband and digital equity plans, supporting municipalities to structure public-private partnerships and digital inclusion services, or building capacity in community anchor institutions and nonprofits, our work is focused on designing and delivering sustainable programs and partnerships that close the digital divide and promote economic opportunity for all.Continue
Our Impact Portfolio
HR&A’s broadband and digital equity work began more than half a decade ago with the development of the widely-praised NYC Internet Master Plan, which led to the selection of nearly a dozen ISPs to serve more than 1.6 million New Yorkers, including tens of thousands of households who have already received new, free or low-cost service. In October 2022, the California Department of Technology broke ground on its $3.25 billion Middle Mile Broadband Initiative, for which HR&A serves as strategic advisor and program manager, complemented by our statewide digital equity planning work for the department.
Since our team at HR&A began this work nearly five years ago, our impact has included the development and initial implementation of the NYC Internet Master Plan, attracting nearly a dozen challenger and community-based ISPs to serve more than 1.6 million New Yorkers on new, City-owned infrastructure; the unanimous approval by the LA Board of Supervisors for Free Broadband for Los Angeles Residents, using federal funds to deliver Community Wireless Networks in partnership with community-based organizations; a commitment to close the digital divide in affordable housing in the State of New York through an innovative Affordable Housing Connectivity Program; and the creation of the National Broadband Resource Hub, which is quickly becoming a go-to resource for the public interest broadband community. We recently began work as Strategic Advisors and Program Manager for the California Department of Technology, helping guide the development and delivery of a $3.25 billion publicly-owned middle mile network and a complementary Statewide Digital Equity Plan and Grant Program.
Our collaborators in the Broadband Equity Partnership bring more than 25 years of broadband engineering and policy development in states across the nation, including current work for the state of Alabama, Georgia, New Mexico, and Montana.Continue
Current and Past Projects
Our current and past clients include:
- State of California Department of Technology Broadband Advisory & Program Management and Digital Equity Planning: HR&A and CTC are providing the California Department of Technology (CDT) broadband and digital equity expertise, advising CDT and the Office of Broadband & Digital Literacy (OBDL) in the implementation of Middle Mile Broadband Initiatives (MMBI) and the Broadband for All Action Plan for statewide digital equity.
- New York State Association for Affordable Housing Broadband Retrofit Program: HR&A, on behalf of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), designed a broadband infrastructure retrofit program for regulated affordable housing across New York State that included a flexible operating model and implementation roadmap for digital empowerment among tenants in government-subsidized affordable housing across the State and made all affordable housing buildings resilient to changes in broadband and other connectivity services for generations to come.
- New York City Internet Master Plan: HR&A served as Program Managers for the New York City Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO) to identify challenges, opportunities, and ambitions to deliver broadband infrastructure in New York City in its largest ever effort to close the digital divide.
- Los Angeles County Internal Services Department Broadband Planning: In November 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the implementation of HR&A and CTC’s recommendations to deploy community wireless networks to connect 12,500 households directly to free internet service within two years, as well as to develop a County-wide digital navigator program to foster adoption of this service, federal subsidy programs, and additional County-sponsored mobile service. We are now working with ISD to structure CBO partnerships to hire and train these digital navigators.
- National Broadband Resource Hub: We worked with the Ford Foundation and Schmidt Futures to lead the development of the National Broadband Resource Hub (NBRH), which provides free educational content, interactive tools, community dialogue, and advisory services to government officials working on broadband program design and implementation.
We provide a full suite of services to help states design and deliver their BEAD Five-Year Action Plans and Statewide Digital Equity Plans. These include:
- Municipal and Statewide Digital Equity Planning, including Asset Mapping, Needs Assessments, and development of Vision and Objectives.
- BEAD Five-Year Action Plans and Internet Master Plans
- Broadband and Digital Equity Governance Design
- Broadband Deployment Program Design and Management
- Affordable Housing Broadband Solutions
- Civic and Stakeholder Engagement Program Design and Management
- Technical Assistance for Local Governments and Community-Based Organizations
- Workforce Development Analysis and Program Design
Are you looking to leverage technology and innovation to increase your city's competitiveness? Email us.
Our Team is Growing
As a national leader in Broadband and Digital Equity consulting, we are always looking for people who share our passion for closing the digital divide in our communities and creating new economic opportunity. Interested in joining our team? Learn more about our career opportunities. Don’t see a role that fits your experience and skills? We’d love to hear from you anyways!
Learn more about our team’s perspective on Digital Inclusion and the work we’re doing to close the digital divide.Learn more
March 28, 2023
HR&A Principal Greta Byrum Speaks at FCC Roundtable on Broadband Access, Affordability and Deployment
March 29, 2023
Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand Announce New York State Will Receive $100 Million in Federal Funding to Expand Broadband Infrastructure