Research

Providing Free and Affordable Broadband for All in Illinois

In order to achieve the goal of universal broadband for everyone in Illinois, broadband must be available and affordable. However, home broadband service is out of reach for many low-income households in Illinois that are unable to afford subscriptions. Therefore, efforts to promote universal broadband should include programs that offer access to affordable broadband service, as well as access to low-cost digital devices and digital literacy training, which have been highlighted as necessary to promote digital inclusion and meaningful broadband adoption.

The Impacts of COVID-19 on Digital Equity Ecosystems

COVID-19 has turned the floodlights on digital inequality in rural, tribal, and urban communities across the United States.

Broadband for America Now

In October 2019, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society issued Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s. The agenda was comprehensive, constructed upon achievements in communities and insights from experts across the nation. The report outlined the key building blocks of broadband policy—deployment, competition, community anchor institutions, and digital equity (including affordability and adoption).

Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s

The purpose of Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s is to collect, combine, and contribute to a national broadband agenda for the next decade, enlisting the voices of broadband leaders in an ongoing discussion on how public policy can close the digital divide and extend digital opportunity everywhere. Leaders at all levels of government should ensure that everyone is able to use High-Performance Broadband in the next decade by embracing the following building blocks of policy:

Rolling out of fibre optic networks in intermediate versus urban areas: An exploratory spatial analysis in the Netherlands

Within the growing literature on broadband development, much research has focused on infrastructure competition and spatial effects driving investment incentives in broadband provision. However, less attention has been paid to the geographical factors explaining very high capacity fibre based network rollout.

Public Libraries and the Pandemic: Digital Shifts and Disparities to Overcome

In the fall and winter of 2020, New America embarked on a snapshot study to gather data on how—or if—people were discovering, accessing, and using their public libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on materials that libraries made available online. Our findings, which include data from a national survey of 2,620 people, highlight the need for more inclusivity, more focus on providing internet access, and more awareness-raising initiatives with local organizations and schools.

More than 12 million US households have cut the cord on their home’s broadband service

More than 12 million US households have cancelled their home broadband service and use only mobile broadband for their internet needs. There are more than 15 million households in the US that have only a mobile broadband service, which includes more than three million households that have never had a home internet subscription. “High cost is the most prominent issue driving households to cut the cord and go mobile only, although service-related issues, from slow speeds to poor customer experience, also contribute,” said Kristen Hanich, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates.

2019 Digital Divide Index

This 2019 Digital Divide Index (DDI) is an updated version that scores: the overall digital divide index, infrastructure/adoption, and socioeconomic. For purposes of this post, we divided all census tracts in the country, whose DDI could be calculated, into three equal groups (roughly same number of tracts per group) based on their DDI score: low, medium, and high. Of the roughly 324 million residents in the U.S.

Impact of mobile operator consolidation on unit prices

We evaluate the impact of mobile operator mergers on the unit price of data and voice by using country-level observations on retail revenue for data, cellular data traffic, retail revenue for voice, and outgoing voice minutes. Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, we estimate the effect of operator merger by comparing the difference between the non-merging countries and the merging countries before and after the introduction of the operator merger.

Experts Say the ‘New Normal’ in 2025 Will Be Far More Tech-Driven, Presenting More Big Challenges

A new canvassing of experts in technology, communications and social change by Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center. Asked to consider what life will be like in 2025 in the wake of the outbreak of the global pandemic and other crises in 2020, some 915 innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists responded.