Public Knowledge has been tracking the efforts of digital platforms to counter mis- and dis-information about the novel coronavirus pandemic since early March. This tracking has involved careful analysis of hundreds of articles, abstracts, research, and opinion pieces about how platforms are responding to the pandemic.
More Than 200 Industry, Public Interest Groups Unite to Tell Congress that Americans Need Broadband During Pandemic
The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society joined Public Knowledge and 216 other public interest, government, industry, civil rights, rural advocacy, and academic groups — alongside schools and libraries — in a letter urging Congress to support access to affordable broadband internet in forthcoming COVID-19 stimulus packages.
The court in Mozilla required the Federal Communications Commission to address how its Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which repealed the agency’s net neutrality rules and removed FCC jurisdiction over broadband, impacted public safety, pole attachments, and the Lifeline program. Instead of opening a new rulemaking proceeding, the FCC issued a Public Notice that fails to explain how the agency ultimately intends to proceed on this matter.
Here is a very simple idea to persuade Americans to stay home, keep our virtual society running, and stimulate the economy. As part of the coronavirus stimulus package, the US government will cover everyone’s broadband bill for a basic connection capable of supporting two-way video (ideally 25/25 Mbps, but we may have to settle for the Federal Communications Commission official definition of broadband of 25/3 Mbps).
Network reliability and network resiliency are distinct concepts that are inextricably linked. “Network reliability” means that you can rely on the fact that you will have phone service to make and receive phone calls and text messages. As an example, a network can become unreliable from a lack of network maintenance that leads to total degradation, or a lack of preparation to handle technological failure.
To enable social distancing, institutions including schools, governments, workplaces, and libraries are moving many of their daily functions online. The successes — and failures — of these efforts can tell us a lot about how tech policy is (or isn’t) working in America, and where it needs to go. The biggest hurdle is access to broadband at home.