Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

How is the FCC Working to Protect Broadband Consumers?

The Biden Administration has launched a new effort to lower costs and promote competition for US consumers. The Strike Force on Unfair and Illegal Pricing––co-chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)––aims to strengthen interagency efforts to root out and stop illegal corporate behavior that hikes prices on consumers through anti-competitive, unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practices.

Modernizing How We Assess Broadband Affordability

Best practice methods for assessing affordability developed and endorsed by academic and government affordability experts can provide much greater precision in assessing need thereby enabling more informed and more targeted digital equity interventions. However, recent experience in Washington state has revealed that few of us in the digital equity realm are yet comfortable applying these methods, or, indeed, are even aware of them.

Creating a Culture of Consent for Our Digital Future: A Conversation with Tawana Petty

I'm interested in shifting the culture around our relationship with online consent because I recognize how pervasive dominant narratives are. In this work, a lot of folks have shifted to a mindset of powerlessness. I've learned that the more you encourage people that we still have a voice in the matter, the more folks tend to push back against systems that are unjust. And it's not a given that your data is going to be extracted and weaponized against you. We still have opportunities to mount a resistance against systems that are harmful. To me, that's the general public.

How to Build a Public Broadband Network

For decades, public broadband networks have been successfully serving hundreds of communities with fast, robust, and affordable internet access. Unlike private-sector networks, municipal, tribal, and other community- and member-owned broadband networks are focused on ensuring universal, robust connectivity at affordable prices. The results have been remarkable.

Technology Education Programs in Prisons increase Prosocial Behaviors and Computing Attitudes

Currently, the majority of incarcerated people in the United States cannot access consistent, high-quality education. When they are released, they often lack skills that are in high demand by employers.

23,269,550 ACP Households

23,269,550. This was the number of households participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) when enrollment closed on February 8th, 2024. It is more than one out of every six households in the United States. But 23,269,550 is also a very high precipice from which to fall. If the ACP ends, all enrollees will experience some combination of bill shock, disconnections, financial sacrifice, service downgrades, and/or household debt.

Digital Equity and Adult Education

Strong partnerships and innovative community solutions are key for organizations looking to advance adult education opportunities using upcoming Digital Equity Act funds.

New Broadband Funding Opportunity for Rural Communities

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced the latest window to receive applications for Rural eConnectivity (ReConnect) Program support to extend broadband networks in rural areas.

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Appreciates FCC's Move to Raise the Bar for Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission last updated its speed benchmarks for advanced telecommunications capability in January 2015; since then our online lives have changed dramatically, so the Commission’s coming action is welcome and overdue. The new benchmark aligns the FCC standard with the bar set by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.