Technology Policy Institute
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced a bill with real potential to mitigate the digital divide. Most proposals simply call for more money for existing programs or for new programs without evidence they will help. Real-world experience, however, has demonstrated how little we truly understand about why many low-income people do not subscribe. The Markey bill tackles this underlying issue.
The seemingly interminable wait for the Court’s decision in Mozilla v. FCC is finally at an end. In its 186-page decision, the Court described how it considered economic concepts, arguments, and expert reports. It upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s 2018 Order but rejected its claimed preemption authority. As we have learned, the net neutrality debates will never die, but they may now change venue.
Does municipal broadband stimulate broadband adoption or employment growth? I conduct an empirical study of American towns that have built municipal networks to answer this question. Using data from the FCC’s Form 477 and the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, I track broadband deployment, adoption, and employment statistics for these towns from 2013 to 2017. A town’s decision to install a municipal network in the first place is not random, however.
Reaching the Unconnected: Benefits for kids and schoolwork drive broadband subscriptions, but digital skills training opens doors to household internet use for jobs and learning
Not so long ago, “closing the digital divide” primarily meant getting people online, and a steady upward trend in adoption is evidence of progress on that front. Yet gaps in broadband adoption remain – particularly for low-income households – and closing those gaps is about more than simply offering a low-cost internet service. Even with the availability of low-cost offers, it remains a challenge to encourage the remaining disconnected people to sign up for broadband service.