National Digital Inclusion Alliance
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) includes provisions that will or could cover the cost of broadband service and devices, broadband infrastructure deployment, broadband mapping and broadband adoption. The rules for use of these funds have not yet been distributed by the authority agency:
In the Fall of 2020, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance partnered with the Salt Lake City Public Library and Urban Libraries Council to bridge the Digital Divide in Salt Lake City through the launch of a Digital Navigators pilot project. To prepare for direct service in Dec 2020, program leadership at the City Library and NDIA worked collaboratively to develop several tools for Digital Navigators to use as they recorded and addressed the needs of community members in Salt Lake City.
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) filed reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission focusing on the need for community-based outreach of the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. In the comments, we recommended that the FCC allocate $30 million of its allowed $64 million in EBB program administration dollars to the states, tribes and territories to disburse for community-based outreach. Our main points:
On Jan 25, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance submitted comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s public notice on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). Along with thirty-six signatories, they wrote their comments focusing on:
AT&T has made fiber-to-the-home available to fewer than a third of the households in its footprint. Across rural counties in AT&T’s footprint, only 5 percent of households have access to fiber. For 28 percent of the households in its network footprint, AT&T’s internet service does not meet the FCC’s 25/3 Mbps benchmark to be considered broadband. AT&T prioritizes network upgrades to wealthier areas, leaving lower income communities with outdated technologies -- households with fiber available have median income 34 percent higher than those with DSL only.
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has released its Worst Connected Cities of 2019, a list of the cities in the US facing the biggest struggles with Internet connections by drawing from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) One-Year Estimates. This data is not an indication of the availability of home broadband service, but rather of the extent to which households are actually connected to it.
Limiting Broadband Investment to "Rural Only” Discriminates Against Black Americans and other Communities of Color
The federal government’s existing broadband programs target hundreds of millions of dollars to expand broadband availability for residents of “unserved and underserved” rural areas, while studiously ignoring tens of millions of urban Americans who still lack high-speed internet service. This policy framework is counterproductive for reducing the nation’s overall digital divide. It is also structurally racist, discriminating against unconnected Black Americans and other communities of color. We present data below showing that: