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.

Coronavirus for kids without internet: Quarantined worksheets, learning in parking lots

Corey Shepherd teaches fifth graders in rural Alaska in a school district the size of Indiana. The terrain there is so rural that only airplanes and snowmobiles connect the district’s 11 tiny villages.

President Trump Thanks Carriers for COVID-19 Response

President Donald Trump held a call with top communications company CEOs to check in with those working to maintain and extend essential connections in a pandemic-driven world of sheltering- and quarantining-in-place. According to the White House,

NCTA Launches COVID-19 Internet Dashboard

We debut a tool that will allow the public and policymakers to track the growth in traffic during the pandemic and get a weekly snapshot of how cable broadband networks are performing during the pandemic.

Flexible Use of Competitive ETC Support

The Federal Communications Commission gave certain carriers flexibility to focus Universal Service Funds on hard-hit areas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 proves we need to continue upgrading America’s broadband infrastructure

Everything from meetings at the office to happy hours with friends are all now occurring in digital space. All of this internet use is putting more pressure on our broadband infrastructure.

COVID-19 Has School Districts Battling For WiFi Hotspots

Groups that procure student-friendly hotspots and laptops with built-in internet access say that, as school districts move all classes online, a spike in demand has created a shortage of thousands — if not millions — of devices. LTE-connected lapt

Online Learning Only Works if Students Have Home Internet Access. Some Don't.

The historic $2 trillion “economic rescue” bill includes key funding, which New America explains here, for a number

Rural broadband in the time of coronavirus

If rural America returns to broadband as usual, it will mean public institutions like libraries sometimes serving as the only broadband link for communities.

FCC’s Telehealth Plans Reach Beyond COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Provision

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a draft order for implementing a $200 million telehealth program in line with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which President Donald Trump recently signed into

Comcast waived data caps for pandemic and its network is just fine

With Comcast's network performing so well during the pandemic, why did Comcast's data cap exist in the first place?