Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

The Implications of Section 230 for Black Communities

A draft of key research, sponsored by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, “The Implications of Section 230 for Black Communities,” was posted on the Social Science Research Network. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act enables technology platforms to host and remove user-generated content without fear of liability for either the content or the moderation decisions.

Empowering Black Communities: The Essential Role of the Affordable Connectivity Program in Enhancing Digital Equity

In our increasingly connected world, dependable and reasonably priced internet access is an essential lifeline. However, on February 7, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will end enrollments for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a broadband affordability program benefitting over 20 million households.

The Joint Center Files Comments with FCC Urging Equitable Broadband Infrastructure Buildout in the Black Rural South

Joint Center President Spencer Overton filed reply comments with the Federal Communications Commission “to prevent digital discrimination by ensuring that Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act broadband resources are equitably deployed in the Black Rural South.” Black households in the Black Rural South are among the most unserved by broadband in the nation, and the federal infrastructure law represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix this problem.

Affordability & Availability: Expanding Broadband in the Black Rural South

This report details the potential for broadband to increase economic, educational, and health care opportunities in the Black Rural South—152 rural counties with populations that are at least 35 percent Black. Key findings show:

Expanding Broadband in the Black Rural South

More than almost any other group, Black communities in the Black Rural South lack affordable, high-speed, quality broadband—38 percent of African Americans there report they do not have access to home internet. Expanding broadband could help reduce the deep racial and economic inequalities in education, jobs and healthcare in the region. Too often, efforts to close the digital divide conflate “rural” with “White” and “urban” with “Black.” The Joint Center's report authored by Dr.

FCC Commissioner Starks on COVID-19 and the Digital Divide

On April 7, the Joint Center convened a panel of experts and key stakeholders for an online policy forum with Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks to discuss the concept of a “connectivity stimulus” to ensure that people in all communities in the United States are connected and have access to online education and economic opportunities during and following the COVID-19 crisis.