Kathryn de Wit

Illinois, Benton Institute Work Together to Close the Digital Divide

A Q&A with Adrianne Furniss, executive director of the Benton Institute, and Matt Schmit, deputy director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

What Policymakers Can Learn From the ‘Minnesota Model’ of Broadband Expansion

A Q&A with Bernadine Joselyn, director of public policy and engagement for the Blandin Foundation and member of the Minnesota Governor's Broadband Task Force. 

West Virginia's Bipartisan Approach to Closing the Digital Divide

An interview about West Virginia’s bipartisan approach to closing the digital divide, with state Senator Robert “Bob” Plymale (D) and state Delegate and Assistant Majority Whip Daniel Linville (R). Broadband expansion is unusual in these politically polarized times: a public policy issue that enjoys bipartisan support.

How Local Leaders Are Expanding Broadband Access

An interview with Francella Ochillo, executive director of Next Century Cities. Although discussion about broadband deployment has long focused on federal efforts, local governments and communities have been working to close the digital divide. The pandemic has exposed the many reasons why we simply can’t wait to achieve widespread broadband access and why local leaders are so important to helping us get there.

What COVID-19 Underscores About How Broadband Connectivity Affects Educational Attainment

A Q&A with Johannes Bauer, director of the James H. and Mary B. Quello Center for Media and Information Policy at Michigan State University, about how broadband access is affecting K-12 education. 

Q. Did you find that the lack of high-speed internet has an impact beyond getting homework done?

How Much Broadband Speed Do Americans Need?

A Q&A with John Horrigan, senior fellow at the Technology Policy Institute.

States Tap Federal CARES Act to Expand Broadband

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in March 2020, provided more than $2 trillion in economic stimulus to address the pandemic.

Key Elements of State Broadband Programs

States play a crucial role in efforts to expand broadband to the millions of Americans who still lack access to this vital service. Nearly all states have responded to the growing demand for reliable, high-speed internet by creating broadband offices or designating responsibility for broadband to a state agency, task force, or council. While their structures might vary, state programs share many similarities, including working with local officials and other stakeholders to close gaps in service, managing data on broadband access, and administering grant programs.

Report Underscores Role of State Policy in Broadband Expansion

In late Oct 2019, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society released a report that explores how leaders at all levels of government can push toward a more connected future. One of the key findings is that state governments must play a crucial role in expanding Americans’ access to broadband services. The report, Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s, examines ways that policymakers at all levels of government can help expand reliable broadband access to every American by the end of the decade.

How State Policy Shapes Broadband Deployment

States are playing a crucial role in efforts to expand broadband to the 21 million to 163 million Americans who still lack access to this critical service, encouraging broadband investment and helping to bring more of their residents online. To close gaps in access, almost every state has established broadband task forces or offices to centralize their efforts and many have set up dedicated funds aimed at reducing the number of state residents who lack broadband access.