Grace Tepper

States are Relying on the Federal Affordable Connectivity Program to Close the Digital Divide

With the common aim of ensuring that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy, each of the 50 states is currently drafting a digital equity plan through what one official called “the largest demonstration of participatory democracy that our country has ever seen." The states are tasked with developing long-term objectives for closing the digital divide by addressing the needs of eight "covered populations"—incl

Internet Service Providers Commit to Affordable Broadband

On May 9, 2022, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris announced that they have secured commitments from 20 internet service providers to lower high-speed internet costs for US consumers. The providers are all participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program, a $14.2 billion federal program created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to subsidize broadband service for

Broadband's Role in Equity Action Plans

On President Biden's first day in office, he signed the Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. The January 20, 2021 order states that the federal government must pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all.

Does your wireless company participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program?

 This is the third in a series of articles looking at which providers are opting to offer services supported by the Affordable Connectivity Program. Here, Benton looks at the offerings of the largest wireless companies in the United States. According to wireless trade association CTIA, all three national providers and numerous regional providers support the Affordable Connectivity program—representing approximately 95% of existing wireless subscriptions and covering more than 99% of all Americans.

Digital Equity and Adult Education

Strong partnerships and innovative community solutions are key for organizations looking to advance adult education opportunities using upcoming Digital Equity Act funds.

What's Your State's Digital Equity Plan?

To achieve true digital equity, deploying broadband to every household in the United States will not be enough. What is also needed are robust, comprehensive programs that address the human side of closing the digital divide and ensuring everyone has access to the technologies, skills, and opportunities necessary to thrive. Over the last seven months and with funding from the Digital Equity Act's State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have released draft digital equity plans for public review and comment.

Connectivity in the Commonwealth: Virginia's Plan

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development's (DHCD) Office of Broadband released its draft Digital Opportunity Plan to the public. The plan is a first-of-its-kind undertaking to assess all facets of the digital divide in the Commonwealth and develop a strategy to close it.

A Wholistic Digital Equity Plan for Rhode Island

On January 9, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and ConnectRI initiative released the draft Rhode Island Digital Equity Plan for public comment. Through this plan, the Commerce Corporation is working to ensure that investment in digital equity efforts produces wholistic results—including widespread digital literacy and access to necessary devices as well as affordable, reliable, fast connectivity.

Digital Skills and Accessibility in Mississippi

The Mississippi Office of Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi (BEAM) released its draft State Digital Skills and Accessibility (DSA) Plan for a 30-day public comment period on January 5, 2024. The Mississippi DSA Plan outlines how BEAM will work towards ensuring broadband accessibility, affordability, digital skills training, and digital opportunities for all citizens.