Bridging the Gap: NECTA Hosts Women’s High-Tech Coalition for Evening of Insightful Discussion and Networking

Bridging the Gap: NECTA Hosts Women’s High-Tech Coalition for Evening of Insightful Discussion and Networking

Bridging the Gap: NECTA Hosts Women’s High-Tech Coalition for Evening of Insightful Discussion and Networking

What happens when you mix a couple dozen leaders in the Women’s High Tech Coalition (WHTC), the stunning rooftop patio at NECTA’s downtown Boston headquarters, and a warm late spring evening?

A lot.

On May 29, the New England Connectivity and Telecommunications Association (NECTA) hosted the WHTC for an evening reception featuring some of the most dynamic women from state and city government, Congress, and the tech industry.

Under the setting sun and early evening stars, attendees discussed the future of technology policy, and finding innovative ways for tech and policy makers to collaborate to achieve policy goals and address constituent needs.

A central theme of the evening was the digital divide—an issue that has become more acute with since the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) expired. Nearly 23 million households nationwide took advantage of this program to make the internet more affordable. WHTC Attendees recognized that the loss of ACP funding only widened the digital divide which requires a multifaceted approach and committed leaders to close once and for all.

With extensive broadband infrastructure in place across the region, discussions centered on the importance of removing the barriers preventing individuals and families from adopting already-available broadband service and accessing the tools needed to succeed in the modern world. The collaboration between tech companies and government agencies is essential in achieving this goal. Providing education and training opportunities for individuals in unserved and underserved communities is essential for bridging the divide. Tech companies can partner with government agencies to develop and implement programs that enhance digital skills and create job opportunities in the tech sector, addressing both the technological and socio-economic aspects of the digital divide.

NECTA recognizes the pivotal role WHTC plays in facilitating this collaboration. By bringing together women leaders from tech and government, the coalition creates a platform for the exchange of ideas and innovative solutions for the entire industry. In turn, this allows for diverse perspectives to be considered, leading to more comprehensive and effective policy decisions.

At NECTA, we are not just connecting people to high-speed broadband, we are connecting individuals in the private and public sectors to solve the challenges before us. Events like this highlight the existing success and further potential of public-private partnerships and the positive impact they can have on society. By closing the digital divide and creating inclusive opportunities, we can ensure that technology serves as a force for good, benefiting all members of our communities. This event showcased the power of collaboration and the importance of including diverse voices in the conversation about technology and policy. As we look to the future, it is essential to continue building these bridges and working together to create a more connected and equitable world.

Hopefully, we’ll soon see more of you on the rooftop!