Connect blog-icon
arrow_back Back

March 8, 2023

Guest Blog: The Institute for Local Self Reliance supports community-driven connectivity

  • , community impact

Posted by

Our community impact work has always been rooted in collaborations with local organizations working in their communities on digital equity issues. With the support of Google Fiber, the Institute for Local Self Reliance and the Digital Inclusion Alliance of San Antonio recently hosted a digital equity bootcamp program to empower other local organizations to take action.

In today’s world, there are few things more essential than staying connected. Whether it’s working from home, distance learning, staying connected to friends and family, scrolling the web or taking advantage of telehealth, Internet access is vital.

For 90% of Americans, being online has become second nature. But, for tens of millions of Americans, high-speed Internet connectivity is a luxury they either can’t afford or access, making life considerably more challenging to navigate. 

At the Institute for Local Self Reliance, we have a vision of helping communities become thriving, diverse, and equitable places to live, work and enjoy. One of the ways we do this is through our Community Broadband Networks Initiative. This initiative supports locally rooted, democratically accountable broadband networks that provide fast, affordable and reliable Internet access to all Americans.

In January, we partnered with the Digital Inclusion Alliance of San Antonio to co-host a digital equity bootcamp in San Antonio. The full-day bootcamp focused on building knowledge and trust among local organizations so that they can engage in strategic campaigns to promote digital inclusion in their communities. Participants developed familiarity with key terms and technologies related to Internet access, engaging one another in break-out groups where they were able to share local strategies, challenges and solutions to achieve their digital equity goals.


In Texas alone, nearly 2.8 million households—totaling 7 million people—lack broadband access. Just two years ago, nearly one-third of households in San Antonio lacked a high-speed Internet connection (over 10% have no Internet access at all), among one of the worst rates of any metro area in the country. 

By hosting digital equity bootcamps, we hope to educate local organizations—providing them with the skills, relationships and expertise needed—to empower change in the community. 

Together, ILSR and the Digital Inclusion Alliance of San Antonio, are working to provide individuals with the knowledge and power to advocate for themselves and their communities to attain digital equity and ensure that everyone has equal opportunity to participate in today’s interconnected society and the economy. 

Posted by DeAnne Cuellar, community broadband outreach team lead for the Institute for Local Self Reliance, DIASA Co-Chair