Community Broadband & Digital Equity Awards

Recognizing champions of local interests in broadband technology

NATOA Announces Recipients of 2021 Community Broadband 

and Digital Equity Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 9, 2021 – The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) today announced the recipients of NATOA’s 2021 Community Broadband and Digital Equity Awards, recognizing innovative programs in government, business and local communities nationwide. Recipients will be recognized at NATOA’s 2021 Annual Conference, to be held in virtually September 21 – 23.

“The COVID crisis has demonstrated how critical local governments are to providing access to our most vulnerable communities whether it be building infrastructure in underserved neighborhoods, distributing devices to support distance learning or training isolated seniors,” noted NATOA President Brian Roberts. “The innovative and essential projects we are recognizing show how communities are stepping in to advance digital equity and fill broadband connectivity gaps.”

The 2021 Community Broadband & Digital Equity Award recipients are:

  • Community Broadband Project of the Year: City of Anacortes, WA – Leverage of Water/Wastewater Utility “Pipe-in-Pipe” Fiber Program to Develop Municipal ISP
  • Digital Equity Project of the Year: City of Boston, MA – Digital Equity & Inclusion Programs
  • COVID-19 Response Digital Equity Project of the Year – Seniors Support: Community Tech Network (CTN), Home Connect and Train-the-Trainer Program
  • COVID-19 Response Digital Equity Project of the Year – Distance Learning: Thompson School District’s Expansion of Pulse Municipal FTTP Network

The 2021 Community Broadband & Digital Equity Honorable Mentions are:

  • Senior Planet Montgomery, MD Home Edition
  • Digital Marin Project’s Deployment of WiFi Network in Canal Neighborhood in the City of San Rafael

Who are the past recipients?

  • Community Broadband Project of the Year: City of Anacortes, WA -- Leverage of Water/Wastewater Utility "Pipe-in-Pipe" Fiber Program to Develop Municipal ISP
  • Digital Equity Project of the Year: City of Boston, MA -- Digital Equity & Inclusion Programs
  • COVID-19 Response Digital Equity Project of the Year - Seniors Support: Community Tech Network (CTN), Home Connect and Train-the-Trainer Program
  • COVID-19 Response Digital Equity Project of the Year - Distance Learning: Thompson School District Expansion of Pulse Municipal FTTP Network
  • Community Broadband Project of the Year: Guadalupe Valley Electric Coop
  • Digital Equity Project of the Year: Digital Charlotte
  • Community Broadband and Digital Equity Innovative Partnership: City of Huntington Beach, American Tower & Phillips Lighting – Smart Fusion Poles
    • Community Broadband Hero of the Year: Jordana Barton, Senior Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, TX
    • Community Broadband Project of the Year: Prince George County, VA Rural Fiber Broadband Public/Private Partnership
    • Digital Equity Project of the Year: Los Angeles, CA “Our Cycle LA Program”
    • Community Broadband and Digital Equity Innovative Partnership: Arlington County, VA Digital Inclusion Initiative

    This year’s awards program was generously sponsored by Mobilitie.

      • Community Broadband Hero of the Year: Danna MacKenzie, State of MN Office of Broadband Development
      • Community Broadband Project of the Year: Longmont Power & Communications, Longmont, CO
      • Community Broadband Strategic Plan of the Year: Seattle, WA “Strategic Plan for Facilitating Equitable Access to Wireless Broadband”
      • Digital Equity Project of the Year: Seattle, WA “Technology Matching Fund”
      • Community Broadband Innovative Partnership of the Year: Garrett County, MD & Declaration Networks Group, Inc.
      • Community Broadband Hero of the Year – FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
      • Community Broadband Project of the Year – City of Ammon, Idaho
      • Community Broadband Strategic Plan of the Year – Portland, Oregon Digital Equity Action Plan (DEAP)
      • Digital Equity Project of the Year – City and County of San Francisco’s SF Connected Program
      • Community Broadband Innovative Partnership Award – Minnesota’s RS Fiber Cooperative
      • Community Broadband Visionary – Mary Beth Henry
      • Community Broadband Heroes of the Year: Jeremy Pietzold and Joe Knapp
      • Community Broadband Project of the Year: City of Ellensburg, WA
      • Community Broadband Strategic Plan of the Year: LinkNYC
      • Digital Equity Project of the Year: Digital Dojo Coding Team in Eugene, OR
      • Community Broadband Innovative Partnership of the Year: City of Westminster, MD and TING
      • Community Broadband Visionary: Charles Benton
      • Community Broadband Heroes of the Year: Senator Matt Schmit and Representative Erik Simonson
      • Community Broadband Project of the Year: Martin County, FL and Oconee FOCUS
      • Community Broadband Organization of the Year: Older Adults Technology Services (OATS)
      • Community Broadband Fiber Network of the Year: The Hartford Metro Area Network (HMAN)
      • Community Broadband Wireless Network of the Year: City of Wilmington, NC and New Hanover County
      • Community Broadband Visionary: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
      • Community Broadband Hero of the Year: Deb Socia, City of Boston
      • Community Broadband Project of the Year: NC Next Generation Network (NCNGN)
      • Community Broadband Organization of the Year: Network Startup Resource Center, OR
      • Community Broadband Fiber Network of the Year: Longmont, CO
      • Community Broadband Wireless Network of the Year: Terra, Alaska
      • Community Broadband Visionary: Alberto Carvalho

      • Community Broadband Hero of the Year: John Windhausen
      • Community Broadband Project of the Year: Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B)
      • Community Broadband Organizations of the Year: Institute for Local Self Reliance and Massachusetts Broadband Institute
      • Community Broadband Fiber Projects of the Year: City of Wilson, NC and Clackamas County, OR
      • Community Broadband Wireless Network of the Year: Port Angeles, WA
      • Community Broadband Visionary: Blair Levin

      • Community Broadband Visionary of the Year: Chris Vein, CIO, City and County of San Francisco 
      • Community Broadband Hero of the Year: John L. Byrd, Harris County (TX) Sheriff’s office 
      • Community Broadband Organization of the Year: City of Monticello, MN 
      • Community Broadband Project of the Year: MI Connection 
      • Community Broadband Wireless Network of the Year: Digital Redwoods, Digital Rio Dell, and Access Humboldt 
      • Community Broadband Fiber Network of the Year: Bristol Virginia Utilities