Coronavirus and Connectivity

Through our Headlines news service, Benton is tracking the role of broadband in the response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Click on titles below for full summaries of articles and links to sources.

Berkeley Schools Leave Every Child Behind

My family has been forced into a social experiment. One of our daughters is in second grade at a private religious school. Her twin sister, who has special needs, attends a public school.

Why the internet didn't break

Between Jan 29 (shortly after COVID-19 appeared in the US) and March 26 there was a 105% spike in people active online at home between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. So why hasn’t the internet ground to a halt?

Chairman Pai Hears From Broadband And Telephone Service Providers That Traffic Is Up But Networks Are Performing Well

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai spoke April 1 with broadband and telephone service providers and trade association leaders about the state of American communications networks as volume and usage patterns shift during the corona

In Response to TracFone Lifeline fine, FCC Commissioners Rosenworcel and Starks also call for expanding Lifeline

In statements about the Federal Communications Commission's proposed $6 million fine against TracFone for violating FCC Lifeline program rules, FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks called for expanding the Lifeline program.

FCC Fights COVID-19 with $200M; Adopts Long-Term Connected Care Study

The Federal Communications Commission voted to adopt a $200 million telehealth program to support healthcare providers responding to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Congress appropriated the funds as part of the CARES Act.

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' Next Coronavirus Fight: Broadband?

 As Congress contemplates a new package of Covid-19 countermeasures, digital connectivity is shaping up to be a significant negotiating point. Telecom provisions that could be in play: Democrats will push for billions of dollars to c

Newly Unemployed Need Lifeline

Over 10 million newly-unemployed Americans are being urged if not ordered to shelter in place for their own health and that of their communities.

Commissioner Rosenworcel on Weekly Jobless Report Showing 6.6 Million New Unemployment Claims

Today’s announcement is a sad indication of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s economy and on the livelihood of so many people that find themselves newly out of work.

Federal broadband stimulus should be guided by state experience

Federal funding and expertise are necessary to achieving universal connectivity, but every level of government has a role to play in bridging the digital divide — especially for completing the “last mile,” the part of the network that co