Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for steps to narrow the so-called homework gap as schools incorporate more technology into their classrooms. Ranking member of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Bob Latta (R-OH) said that while larger cities often have high quality broadband access, many smaller communities do not, and there is strong bipartisan support of promoting digital equity.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill is still far from a done deal, but after the political wrangling over what is and isn’t “infrastructure,” at least one area of firm bipartisan agreement has emerged: broadband digital access is infrastructure, but if the US lags behind our economy will not remain competitive. The broad agreement on broadband for all is a positive, overdue development. But by itself, without better digital norms and governance, universal broadband access in the US won’t do much to secure Americans’ digital rights, equitably distributed economic growth, or stronger competiti
As President Biden and Congress debate a $1.2 [tr]illion infrastructure bill that includes a historic investment in broadband, it’s an important moment to question what we mean by digital equity and what it will take to achieve it.
The conventional wisdom has been that major cities have borne the economic brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and face the longest odds of a full and quick recovery. While the future of many American cities may truly be challenging, the pandemic’s toll on rural economies may be even more difficult to overcome in the long-term because of insufficient digital infrastructure and broadband access. According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly four in ten rural Americans do not have access to high-speed internet, roughly ten times the rate among urban Americans.
The Biden administration’s strategy to tackle the digital divide places too much emphasis on wires and competition and too little on people and communities. By proposing $65 billion in broadband spending, the administration aims to spur marketplace competition, supercharge network speeds, and reduce home internet prices. Yet a lot can go wrong when prioritizing competition, as competition and affordability do not go hand-in-hand; when prices drop, they rarely fall to levels that make service affordable for low-income households who make up most of the disconnected.
California Democrats are clashing with members of their party over a package of antitrust bills targeting the top tech companies in the country. Democratic representatives from California on the House Judiciary Committee, particularly those representing tech-heavy Bay Area districts, voted against the majority of their colleagues over the past two days on five antitrust bills that seek to rein in the market power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The stiff opposition from the California delegation may cause further hurdles as the legislation heads to the House floor, with moderate and