Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Benton to FCC: Efforts to Close the Digital Divide Have Been Unsuccessful
Closing the digital divide is the top priority of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC recently requested public comment on the effectiveness of its ongoing efforts in this area. Reviewing press coverage of connectivity issues since the COVID-19 national emergency was declared in mid-March 2020, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society offered the Commissions pages and pages of evidence that too many people in the U.S. remain without broadband service. The following statement may be attributed to Benton Executive Editor Kevin Taglang:
"As borne out in press reports since mid-March 2020, the Commission’s efforts to close the digital divide have been unsuccessful. As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more Americans to work, study, see their doctors, and stay connected to friends and loved ones through broadband connections, it serves to underscore the importance of closing the divide and ensuring that people throughout the country have access to digital opportunity.
"As these stories from around the country demonstrate, the FCC must find that continuing shortcomings in broadband deployment and affordability cause grievous harm to individuals as well as to the nation as a whole and that broadband is being not deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion."
The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people in the U.S. have access to competitive, High-Performance Broadband regardless of where they live or who they are. We believe communication policy - rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity - has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities.
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