What Is the FCC’s New Broadband Map and Why Does it Matter?
The Federal Communications Commission released an updated map detailing broadband availability nationwide that will be used to allocate $42 billion in federal funds to states and territories to help expand access to affordable high-speed internet.
With New Funding, State Broadband Offices Boost Hiring Efforts
State and territory broadband offices have dramatically increased in size over the past year as they deploy billions of dollars in economic recovery funds and start to manage a historic federal investment in broadband expansion.
How States Can Use Line Extension Programs to Expand High-Speed Internet Access
The Pew Charitable Trusts sent a memo to state broadband offices that are participating in its technical assistance program, the broadband education and training initiative, that discussed how states can use line extension programs to subsidize “curb-to-home” connections—the final segments of infrastructure needed to connect each individual home or business to a broadband network. Pew looks at how three states have implemented programs to address last-mile expansion, including the rules and procedures they employ to award funds to households, property owners, or internet service providers.
State Broadband Grant Programs: Scoring Metrics
Pew Charitable Trusts assesses broadband grant scoring metrics, with side-by-side comparisons of the metrics used by Indiana, Minnesota, and Virginia. These three states represent both relatively well-established state broadband grant programs as well as
programs that updated their scoring systems in 2020 and 2021. Major points include:
State Broadband Grant Programs: The Challenge Process
The Pew Charitable Trusts provides information on the “challenge processes” in state broadband grant programs, with key features from a variety of states. Summary points include:
Governors Lead on Expanding Access to Affordable Broadband for Telehealth
Governors have championed the importance of increasing affordable broadband access and play a critical role in expanding access to services via telehealth, both in providing emergency connections during the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic and paving the way for enhanced and broader service in the years ahead. Many governors have enhanced health care services via telehealth by using a combination of the following strategies:
Broadband Access For Success In Postsecondary Education
Immediately following the onset of the pandemic and the shift to virtual learning, many Governors initiated or supported short-term solutions to access to broadband and computers. However, states must prioritize investment in the expansion of sustainable and affordable broadband infrastructure in order to permanently close the digital divide. Governors are at the forefront of this effort and have started this year by proposing record levels of investment in broadband infrastructure, with 36 Governors calling attention to the need for increased access in their State of the State addresses.
Governors Start 2021 By Expanding Access To Broadband
As Governors continue to deliver their State of the State Addresses, expanding affordable, high-speed internet access has emerged as a key priority for states and territories in 2021.
Governor Strategies To Expand Affordable Broadband Access
Increasing access to the internet and improving the affordability of broadband services has been a long-standing priority for governors; more than twenty states now have dedicated broadband offices to address the digital divide while more have robust governance structures that include task forces, working groups, and committees.