Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards

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National League of Cities and Next Century present
The Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards, in partnership with Google Fiber

Frequently Asked Questions

City governments across the country are collaborating with nonprofits and private sector partners to help bridge the digital divide and get more Americans online. In order to celebrate outstanding leadership and encourage innovative approaches to bridging the digital divide, we're announcing the Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards Program. The awards program will include:  

  • Leader in Digital Inclusion Best Practices: this award will recognize existing programs with over a year of work in addressing the digital divide.
  • Most Promising New Plan: this award will recognize particularly promising new programs for ensuring digital inclusion in a community.

Two winners in each category will be chosen based on a program's ability to provide training, access and hardware to a diverse range of residents, at low cost, with proven results. An additional winner in each category will receive recognition for a particularly innovative approach.  

Around 25 percent of US households-or approximately 60 million Americans-don't have Internet in their homes. Families affected by the digital divide, many of whom are from lower income neighborhoods, are at a disadvantage when it comes to doing homework, applying for jobs or staying in touch with loved ones.  

Whether cities are leading or partnering on programs, municipal leaders have a major role to play in getting residents the digital access and resources they need. We want to celebrate the cities that are leading programs or empowering community-based organizations to tackle barriers to Internet adoption. At the same time we hope to encourage leaders in the public sector to get involved in digital inclusion by sharing best practices.  

You can learn more about digital inclusion and the award by listening to our webinar recording:



When are applications due?
You can submit applications anytime through February 10, 2017

Do I have to be a member of Next Century Cities or National League of Cities to apply?

No, any local government in the US is welcome to apply.

When and where will awards be presented?

TBD - Awards are currently being reviewed and awards are anticipated in May.

Where can I find more information about digital inclusion?

There are some great resources to learn more about digital inclusion. Here are a few:

Can a county apply?

Yes, a city or a county is eligible.

Do I have to be a Google Fiber city to apply?

No, all cities and counties are eligible to apply.

Who is on the panel of judges?

We will have five total judges.  One representative from National League of Cities, Next Century Cities and Google Fiber will join two digital inclusion or broadband adoption experts. The specific people serving on the judge's panel will be announced at a later date.