About Half the Public Thinks Local Governments Should Be Able to Pursue Their Own Broadband Network Build-Outs
As the pandemic continues to underscore the importance of reliable, at-home internet service, debate rages over whether local governments should be permitted to build out and run their own broadband networks, either on their own or with the help of a private partner. The White House, in its infrastructure proposal released earlier this month, has thrown its support behind allowing municipalities to explore such options.
Timing of $7 Billion E-Rate Expansion Has Education Advocates Eyeing Long-Term Connectivity Planning Over Quick Fixes
The latest COVID-19 relief package includes over $7 billion to expand E-rate to better tackle students’ at-home internet needs. But with the dollars doled out so far into the crisis and the end of the school year fast approaching, expectations for how the additional funding will be spent have shifted among school officials and advocates from getting quick fixes, like mobile hotspots, to more long-term projects that will ensure that schools can sustain the progress they’ve made to become more digital-learning friendly.
FCC’s New Broadband Subsidy Hits Sweet Spot for Lower-Income People of Color’s Internet Bill Needs
According to a new Morning Consult poll, 27 percent of Black, Hispanic and other non-white adults who make less than $50,000 annually said they have missed at least one internet bill payment since January 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak started spreading in the United States, compared to 16 percent of lower-income white adults.
With a Biden Administration, Broadband Advocates Have Hope for Lifeline Reform
With President-elect Joe Biden and his to-be-determined administration preparing to take office in January, broadband and consumer advocates are optimistic about the prospects of modernization reforms for Lifeline and other federal programs aimed at making internet and phone services more affordable under a potentially Democratic-led Federal Communications Commission.
Civil Rights, Labor and Anti-Poverty Groups Demand FCC Amend Lifeline to Help Low-Income Americans Pay Their Bills
As the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic continues throughout the United States, a coalition of 25 organizations including the NAACP, the National Consumer Law Center and the Communications Workers of America is urging the Federal Communications Commission to make a number of changes to the Lifeline voice and broadband subsidy program to help low-income Americans pay their phone and internet bills. Among its requests, the coalition is calling on the FCC in a
Telecom Industry, Broadband Advocates Push for Internet Subsidies in Next Stimulus
With few funds dedicated to expanding at-home internet access in the $2.2 trillion “phase three” economic stimulus package, broadband advocates and the telecommunications industry are starting to push for the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to ensure that the government prioritizes expanding and funding existing subsidy programs in the next relief legislation to bring more Americans online as the coronavirus continues to spread.
House Lawmakers Target Sept, Oct for Data Privacy Bill
As talks on a data privacy bill reportedly lose steam in the Senate, two Democratic House aides said the House Commerce Committee is targeting the end of Sept or early Oct to introduce its own version of privacy legislation. Apparently, there are plans for Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to head up the effort. One aide said the legislation is expected to include a few possible concessions that could fall by the wayside if the bill were to be reconciled with any Senate version through a conference committee.