Low-income

Altice USA Broadens Reach of Low-Cost Broadband Option

Location:
Altice USA, Oyster Bay, NY, United States

Altice USA said “Economy Internet,” an uncapped broadband service for low-income households, is now available across its Optimum (former Cablevision Systems) and Suddenlink footprints.

Seattle Wins National Awards for Digital Equity Efforts

Location:
National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, 2121 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA, 22314, United States

Seattle’s Information Technology Department has won two awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors for its efforts to foster digital inclusion within the city.

Appalachian Ohio-West Virginia Connectivity Summit

Jul 18 2017 - 8:30am - 8:00pm
Location:
Washington State Community College, 710 Colegate Dr, Marietta, OH, 45750, United States

The Appalachian Ohio-West Virginia Connectivity Summit is bringing together key players from across the country to brainstorm strategies for bringing broadband access to our rural communities.

So this one time at a journalism conference…

Location:
USA, United States

Journalism has a class problem. We know this.

Low Income Devices and Connectivity

Aug 10 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Location:
MN, United States

Blandin Community Broadband Program webinars are designed to provide rural Minnesota leaders with information they can use to help transform their communities into tech savvy places to live, work and visit. Communities serious about attracting tourists, new businesses, entrepreneurs and young people must consider technology and Internet access as an essential amenity for community economic growth and vibrancy.

Leave No One Unconnected

Jul 11 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Location:
MN, United States

Blandin Community Broadband Program webinars are designed to provide rural Minnesota leaders with information they can use to help transform their communities into tech savvy places to live, work and visit. Communities serious about attracting tourists, new businesses, entrepreneurs and young people must consider technology and Internet access as an essential amenity for community economic growth and vibrancy.

GAO: Some progress on Lifeline reform, but much still to do

Location:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States

The Government Accountability Office issued a blistering report on the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to assist low-income families.

More than 1,000 income-subsidized housing units in San Francisco are getting free gigabit internet

Location:
Hunters Point East West, 786 Jerrold Ave , San Francisco, CA, 94124, United States

When residents at San Francisco’s Hunters Point East and West low-income, federally-subsidized housing complex went online, many had access to free gigabit speed internet for the first time.

FCC 'Lifeline' Program Opponents Wage War on the Poor

Location:
Free Press (DC), 501 Third Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States

In its analysis of data from 2012 through 2014, the Government Accountability Office was unable to confirm the eligibility of 30 percent of Lifeline users it examined. Opponents hail this finding as proof of widespread fraud.

Infrastructure Is Not Just Roads and Bridges

Location:
PolicyLink, 1438 Webster Street, Oakland, CA, 94612, United States

When politicians talk about infrastructure, people generally think of roads and bridges. But these are just a part of the nation’s infrastructure, and not necessarily the most important part for millions of poor and working-class Americans who have limited access to public transportation, broadband and even clean water.

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Innovators in Digital Inclusion: Free Geek

Location:
Free Geek, 1731 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR, 97214, United States

In 2000, a collective led by Oso Martin recognized the need in Portland, Oregon, for safe disposal and recycling of electronics. Simultaneously, they saw an opportunity to get technology into the hands of those who did not have it. Free Geek began as a simple collection and refurbishment program (and, yes, it was started in a garage). A Free Geek gathering during Portland’s Earth Day celebration brought some formality to the enterprise shortly before it was founded. The new organization soon opened a storefront in an industrial area of Portland, where residents could drop off used tech, and volunteers set to work fixing it up and giving it away. The storefront that opened in a warehouse in the city’s Inner Southeast Industrial District 17 years ago now stretches half of a city block. This location, separated from most of the city’s residents, means that Free Geek must be a destination. Since the beginning, Free Geek’s service model has been structured around community service: volunteer a total of 24 hours and you receive a free computer. This approach fuels the engine, keeps resources available, and keeps people coming in the door. The program expanded so that students may complete 24 hours of any kind of community service in exchange for a computer.

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Innovators in Digital Inclusion: Free Geek

Free Geek is simple. It is tackling two problems in Portland: an excess of e-waste and the substantial digital divide. Ingeniously, it is using one to impact the other.

No Matter What Washington Does, One Nonprofit Is Closing the Digital Divide

Location:
EveryoneOn , 718 7th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
2

EveryoneOn is announcing its plans to take over the ConnectHome program from HUD and expand its efforts to close the digital divide in more than 100 communities, both rural and urban, by 2020. HUD will still serve on the group’s advisory board, but will no longer manage it day to day. The new entity, rebranded ConnectHome Nation, is an effort not only to grow the program but to protect it from the often mercurial whims of Washington.

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Presentation of Charles Benton Digital Equity Award to Emy Tseng

Location:
Saint Paul, MN, United States
Recommendation:
2

I am so honored today to present the second annual Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award. Charles’ life was a testament to the principle that real change is the result of sustained effort.

Lifeline Coalition Connects with Pai’s Staff on Broadband, Net Neutrality

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Lifeline Connects Coalition met with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s Wireline Legal Advisor, Dr Jay Schwarz, on May 11, 2017, to discuss the draft Open Internet NPRM and the Commission’s commitment to support broadband services through the Lifeline program. It also discussed the upcoming increase in the Lifeline minimum service standards and current barriers to entry and industry consolidation in the Lifeline program.

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Digital Inclusion and Outcomes-Based Evaluation

Location:
Benton Foundation, 727 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL, 60202, United States
Recommendation:
2

In recent years, government agencies, private foundations, and community-based organizations have increasingly sought to understand how programs that promote digital inclusion lead to social and economic outcomes for individuals, programs, and communities. This push to measure outcomes has been driven, in part, by a larger trend to ensure that dollars are being used efficiently to improve lives rather than simply to deliver services. A new report, published by Benton Foundation, describes the challenges facing community-based organizations and other key stakeholders in using outcomes-based evaluation to measure the success of their digital inclusion programs and offers recommendations toward addressing these shared barriers.

National Digital Inclusion Week Helps Build Nationwide Momentum for Digital Equity

Location:
National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

The phrases "digital equity" and "digital inclusion" are now being used to frame the discussion.

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Digital Inclusion and Outcomes-Based Evaluation

In recent years, government agencies, private foundations, and community-based organizations have increasingly sought to understand how programs that promote digital inclusion lead to social and economic outcomes for individuals, programs, and communities. This push to measure outcomes has been driven, in part, by a larger trend to ensure that dollars are being used efficiently to improve lives rather than simply to deliver services. A new report, published by Benton Foundation, describes the challenges facing community-based organizations and other key stakeholders in using outcomes-based evaluation to measure the success of their digital inclusion programs and offers recommendations toward addressing these shared barriers. This new research builds off Dr. Colin Rhinesmith’s Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Broadband Adoption Initiatives, released in early 2016.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s Remarks at Public Forum on Access and Affordability

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Why is it that some of the largest communications providers in this country consistently rank among the lowest in consumer satisfaction? Could it possibly have anything to do with a lack of robust competition?

AT&T's rollout of broadband serves the rich, shunts mid- and low-income families to the slow lane

Location:
Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Recommendation:
2

The argument that the private sector can do things better, faster and cheaper than government never seems to go out of style. But a new report on AT&T’s strategy for rolling out high-speed Internet service in California underscores what may be the biggest flaw in that argument: When critical infrastructure construction is left entirely to private companies, much of the public gets shortchanged.

Estimating willingness-to-pay for broadband attributes among low-income consumers: Results from two FCC Lifeline pilot projects

Location:
Texas Tech University, 2500 Broadway, Lubbock, TX, 79409, United States
Recommendation:
2

Recent studies have confirmed that broadband adoption (as opposed to simply having access to broadband infrastructure) is positively linked with economic growth. In light of this, federal policy efforts have switched from focusing mainly on the provision of infrastructure to more explicit adoption-oriented efforts. One of those efforts was the Federal Communications Commission's Low-income Broadband Lifeline Pilot Projects, which ran from 2013 to 2014.

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Innovators in Digital Inclusion: Multnomah County Library

Like most public libraries across the United States, Multnomah County Library (MCL) has long provided access to public computers, the Internet (through Wi-Fi), and personalized training to the community it serves. MCL has leveraged grants and partnerships to provide tailored services to community members with low technology literacy and few resources. The library is a primary partner in a collaborative, regional digital inclusion effort that includes:1) documenting community needs, 2) increasing access to low-cost devices and broadband service, and 3) delivering training where it’s needed most. In recent years, the library has focused increasingly on technology-related service in languages other than English, including Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese.

No Health Insurance Is Hard. No Phone? Unthinkable.

Location:
Springville, UT, United States
Recommendation:
2

As the health care debate thundered away in Washington, Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) stirred up a social media squall by suggesting that uninsured Americans should invest in their own health care “rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love.”

FCC Chairman Pai Needs to Stop Blocking Opportunities for Low-Income People to Get Online

Location:
Free Press (DC), 501 Third Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Since his promotion to chairman, Ajit Pai has taken steps to limit Lifeline broadband options and has essentially frozen Lifeline implementation. Thanks to the outcry from nearly 40 advocacy groups — including Free Press — Chairman Pai is now inviting public comment on his decision to stop nine companies from providing broadband service to Lifeline customers.

Rep Chaffetz: Americans may need to choose between iPhone or healthcare

Location:
Capitol Building, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
3

Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said Americans may have to choose between purchasing a new iPhone or paying for health insurance.

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Benton Welcomes Lifeline Proceeding, Urges Implementation of Program to Ensure Affordable Broadband

Location:
Benton Foundation, 727 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL, 60202, United States
Recommendation:
2

Today’s action by the Wireline Competition Bureau is a welcome step in the right direction. We strongly urge the Commission to move forward with implementing the modernization of the Lifeline program so that our nation’s most vulnerable are connected to the opportunities made possible by broadband. Every day that the FCC delays in implementing Lifeline is another day veterans, rural students, people with disabilities, and other low-income people are left waiting in the digital desert.

Groups Push Chairman Pai to Reverse Lifeline Move

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Over 40 groups have written Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to ask him to reverse the decision to rescind Lifeline broadband subsidy eligibility for nine companies.

Dozens of Digital Inclusion Groups Urge FCC to Support Internet ‘Lifeline’ for Low-Income Families

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Nearly 40 civil rights, social justice, labor and digital inclusion groups sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to reverse its decision that undermined the Lifeline Program.

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The FCC Is Sucking The Life Out Of Lifeline

Recommendation:
2

Here at Benton, we work to make sure communications policy strengthen communities and democracy. We believe that expanding access, adoption, and use of communications technologies is essential for democratic participation -- so naturally, closing the digital divide is a key priority. The Federal Communications Commission, charged with making communication service available “to all the people of the United States" -- has a number of programs to ensure universal service. The E-rate program, created by Congress in 1996, makes broadband and Wi-Fi services more affordable for schools and libraries. The Lifeline program makes telecommunications services more affordable for low-income households. But recent FCC activity has indicated that these programs are at risk -- odd behavior from new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai who said, “I believe one of our core priorities going forward should be to close [the digital divide].”

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