Adrianne Furniss

Health Conversion Foundations Leverage Matching Grants to Bring Broadband Infrastructure to Virginia Counties

The Virginia Funders Network (VFN) is a prominent membership organization with more than 100 philanthropic organizations from every corner of Virginia. VFN convened a small group of member foundations that were interested in or already supporting broadband initiatives. Based on input from this small group, VFN quickly came to understand the critical connection between affordable, reliable broadband access and VFN members achieving their missions.

The Just Transition Fund Invests in Closing the Digital Divide to Strengthen Economic Resilience in Coal-Affected Communities

The Just Transition Fund (JTF) provides grants, technical assistance, peer-to-peer support, and education to help coal communities identify, prepare for, and apply for federal funding for broadband projects that meet local needs. Roughly one-third of residents in the rural and tribal areas the JTF serves cannot access high-speed internet—an inequity that restricts work, education, health care, public services, and civic engagement.

Collaborating With Philanthropy to Address the Digital Divide in Native American Communities

Tribal lands and Native American communities are some of the least connected places in the United States. Infrastructure deployment lags behind that in other rural communities. Only 46.6 percent of housing units on rural tribal lands have access to broadband service. And even when they are connected, households on tribal lands tend to pay more for basic broadband plans and receive lower speeds.

Philanthropy Builds Capacity So Equity Is at the Forefront of Broadband Infrastructure Dollars Spent in California

Building a critical mass of informed and organized community voices in the broadband policymaking arena to balance the historical presence of private industry is a long-term capacity challenge in California—and in other states. How do digital equity advocates make their voices heard during the rulemaking process for California’s $6 billion statewide broadband rollout? The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has new resources and authorities to be a partner to local governments and other agencies in closing the digital divide.

Heartland Forward Helps Accelerate Community-Driven Broadband Infrastructure Planning

Heartland Forward is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “think and do tank” focused on improving economic performance in the center of the United States. Its Connecting the Heartland initiative aims to boost internet availability, speeds, and adoption rates across America’s heartland.

Chicago Mobilized Philanthropy to Connect School Kids

At the height of the pandemic in April 2020, the City of Chicago learned that roughly 1 in 5 K-12-aged students did not have internet access at home. Schools had shifted to remote learning, and Chicago needed to act quickly to ensure that students could continue their education from home.

How Philanthropy Can Help Communities Reach Their Broadband Goals

For community leaders striving for digital equity, I am happy to share Pathways to Digital Equity, a guidebook to help communities evaluate and meet specific connectivity needs.

What's Our Vision of Digital Equity?

This is Digital Inclusion Week 2022, a time to raise awareness of solutions addressing home internet access, personal devices, and local technology training and support programs.

2022 TPRC Charles Benton Early Career Scholar Awards

The winner of the 2022 Charles Benton Early Career Scholars award is Dr. Erezi Ruth Ogbo, a postdoctoral associate researcher at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. In Broadband Voucher Programs: Evaluating the Alabama Broadband Connectivity Program, Erezi examined the only digital inclusion program using direct-to-consumer vouchers that have been implemented in the US. Known as ABC for Students, the program provided continuity of broadband service for about 200,000 Alabama students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get Your ACP

We're just a few days from Juneteenth, a holiday that reminds us of the critical connection between communications and equity. June 19 commemorates the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas first learned about the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Cut off from communications, slaves in Texas were deprived news of their freedom for over two and a half years. One hundred and fifty-seven years later, we can still see how lack of access to communications holds back individuals, families, and communities.