Low-income

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].”

More House Members Push Pai On Lifeline Authorizations

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

Over a dozen Democratic members of the House Commerce Committee have asked Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to reverse his reversal of nine Lifeline broadband subsidy authorizations granted in the waning weeks of his predecessor, Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Democratic Senators Push FCC Chairman Pai to Reverse Lifeline Decision

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

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Corey Booker (D-NJ) are leading more than a dozen senators (all Dems except independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont) calling on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to reverse his decision to withdraw Lifeline broadband subsidy authorizations from nine companies.

Ex-Wheeler Aide Sohn Slams FCC Chairman Pai For Lifeline Moves

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

Gigi Sohn, former top counselor to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, took aim at new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's reversal of a handful of Lifeline subsidy authorizations.

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Defending the Indefensible: Chairman Pai’s Lifeline Reversal Will Widen the Digital Divide

Recommendation:
2

To my great surprise and delight, the recent move by the Federal Communications Commission's new majority to revoke the designations of nine companies as Lifeline providers has provoked a firestorm in the press, on social media, and on the Hill. The furor has been so intense that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai felt moved to defend the decision on Medium this week. But the Chairman doth protest too much. His thin arguments fail to mask two clear truths:
1) His actions will make the market for Lifeline broadband services less competitive, limiting choice and keeping prices high. As a result, fewer low income Americans will be able to afford broadband; and
2) He, and fellow FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, fundamentally disagree with the structure and goals of the Lifeline program and will seek to undermine it in word and deed.

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Defending the Indefensible: Chairman Pai’s Lifeline Reversal Will Widen the Digital Divide

To my great surprise and delight, the recent move by the Federal Communications Commission's new Republican majority to revoke the designations of nine companies as Lifeline providers has provoked a firestorm in the press, on social media, and on the Hill. The furor has been so intense that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai felt moved to defend the decision on Medium this week. But the Chairman doth protest too much. His thin arguments fail to mask two clear truths. 1) His actions will make the market for Lifeline broadband services less competitive, limiting choice and keeping prices high. As a result, fewer low income Americans will be able to afford broadband. And 2) He (and fellow FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly) fundamentally disagrees with the structure and goals of the Lifeline program and will seek to undermine it in word and deed.

FCC's Pai Rescinds Lifeline Eligibilities

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

The message seemed to be that Pai administration would review such applications more thoroughly for potential abuses, but others saw it as a way to target a program Chairman Pai has criticized.

The FCC is stopping 9 companies from providing federally subsidized Internet to the poor

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

The Federal Communications Commission is telling nine companies they won't be allowed to participate in a federal program meant to help them provide affordable Internet access to low-income consumers — weeks after those companies had been given the green light.

Statement of Commissioner Clyburn on Reversing Lifeline Designations

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

Today, the agency reverses course on providing more competition and consumer choice for Lifeline customers. Rather than working to close the digital divide, this action widens the gap.

Lifeline Broadband Problems: Big Carriers Opt Out, Rural Carriers Struggle with Pricing

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

The Federal Communications Commission’s decision to allow qualified low-income households to use funding from the Universal Service Lifeline program toward broadband service was welcomed back in March when it was made, but problems with the program are mounting.

Connecting Students at Home

Location:
US Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20410, United States
Recommendation:
3

Today, as part of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHome initiative to bring high-speed internet to low-income households with school-aged children in HUD-assisted housing, T-Mobile, the City of New York, and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have committed to do their part to close the digital divide in New York.

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Innovators in Digital Inclusion: Ashbury Senior Community Computer Center

Location:
Ashbury Senior Community Computer Center (ASC3) , 11011 Ashbury Ave, Cleveland, OH, 44106, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Ashbury Senior Community Computer Center (ASC3) is a community-based organization which provides technology training and low-cost home internet service. ASC3 serves four Cleveland neighborhoods (Glenville, Forest Hills, South Collinwood and East Cleveland) -- and anyone else who requests their services. These neighborhoods are economically-diverse and family-oriented with a strong representation of older, African-American adults and Case Western Reserve University students. The draw of important churches in these neighborhoods brings in traffic from elsewhere in Cleveland. All four neighborhoods have low home broadband adoption rates. Wanda Davis and her family wanted to strengthen their community. They had two family businesses they needed to close, but they owned the property and realized there was an opportunity to create a community center. Ms. Davis said, “As we closed the hardware store and deli, wanted to make sure what we left was long standing and supportive of the community. The purpose has always been about impact.”

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Getting to Know Mark Jamison, President-elect Trump’s FCC Transition Team Co-Leader

On November 21, 2016, President-elect Doonald Trump named Mark Jamison and Jeffrey Eisenach to his “agency landing team” for the Federal Communications Commission. Jamison is a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is also the Gunter Professor of the Public Utility Research Center (PURC) at the University of Florida and serves as its director of telecommunications studies. Since, as a candidate, Donald Trump did not offer a telecommunications agenda, many are trying to read the tea leaves to understand how these appointments will impact how the FCC will operate over the next four years. As a professor and visiting fellow, Jamison is a prolific writer. We've been reading through his works looking for hints of what Trump Administration priorities may be.

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The Homework Gap and Libraries

Even as policymakers and technology companies laud the transformations broadband enables in education, when it comes to accessing the Internet to distribute homework and grades, to collect and grade assignments, and to enable parents to interact with their children’s school, a stark divide is apparent. Pew statistics suggest about five million households, mostly lower income and skewed to Black and Hispanic families, are on the wrong side of this divide.

Charter Launches Low-Cost Broadband Service

Location:
Charter Communications, 12405 Powerscourt Dr, St. Louis, MO, 63131, United States
Recommendation:
3

Pushing ahead on a pledge tied to its acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, Charter Communications has launched a standalone, low-cost broadband service for qualified seniors and families that costs $14.99 per month.

How the AT&T/Time Warner Deal Could Hurt Low-Income Families

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

AT&T executives think their plan to take over Time Warner is too big to fail. But the proposed merger’s astronomical cost may prove them wrong. For the deal to go through, AT&T and Time Warner need the approval of government regulators, especially those at the Department of Justice, who will vet it to see if it violates antitrust laws. But there’s another metric by which regulators should evaluate the merger: its impact on real people, especially low-income households and communities of color.

Free Internet Access For Salt Lake City Low-Income Housing, Other Google Fiber Cities

Location:
Lorna Doone Properties, 135 S 300 E, Salt Lake City, UT, 84111, United States
Recommendation:
2

Residents of Salt Lake City’s Lorna Doone Properties will be enjoying Internet speeds of up to one gigabit for no cost, thanks to a partnership between Google Fiber and the Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation (UNHC).

DSL providers save faster internet for wealthier communities

Location:
Center for Public Integrity, 910 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20006, United States
Recommendation:
3

When noncable internet providers — outlets like AT&T or Verizon — choose which communities to offer the fastest connections, they don’t juice up their networks so everyone in their service areas has the option of buying quicker speeds. Instead, they tend to favor the wealthy over the poor, according to an investigation by the Center of Public Integrity.

A new digital divide has emerged — and conventional solutions won’t bridge the gap

Location:
Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, 37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC, 20057, United States
Recommendation:
2

Though the United States has made profound progress in making Internet access universally available, a new digital divide has emerged that defies conventional solutions. Since both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have promised to expand broadband opportunities if elected president, it’s crucial for future policy decisions that we understand who is still offline and why.

Free Broadband Initiatives for Poor and Rural Areas, With Eye on Future

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
3

There is an axiom in technology: New products typically go to wealthy customers first, before prices eventually fall to reach the masses. With broadband now classified as a utility, telecommunication and tech companies including Sprint, Comcast and Facebook are increasingly working to make high-speed Internet accessible to every American, not just a luxury.

Why technology alone can't lift people out of poverty

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
3

For millions of Americans, this Catch-22 is known as the digital divide — a term that once applied to people without Internet access but now refers to a spectrum of people whose lives are impacted by the limitations of Internet access. Ironically, many experts argue that those trapped in the digital divide struggle to get out because of technology’s impact on the job market.

#Solutions2020 Policy Forum Hosted by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

Oct 19 2016 - 1:00pm - 5:15pm
Location:
Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW 12th Floor – Gewirz Building, Washington, DC, 20001, United States

The #Solutions2020 Policy Forum is open to the public. Seating will be available on a first come, first-served basis.

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Innovators in Digital Inclusion: PCs for People

Functional broadband access and adoption are essential for full participation in our society, for education, for public health, and for public safety. But nagging gaps in broadband adoption exist for too many U.S. communities. In Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Broadband Adoption Initiatives,(1) Dr. Colin Rhinesmith explored successful, local efforts to help low-income individuals and families overcome the barriers to broadband adoption. Dr. Rhinesmith finds that successful digital inclusion organizations focus on: 1) Providing low-cost broadband, 2) Connecting digital literacy training with relevant content and services, 3) Making low-cost computers available, and 4) Operating public access computing centers. In this new series, the Benton Foundation and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) explore the origins, strategies, challenges and funding mechanisms for successful digital inclusion organizations. In this first article, we examine PCs for People, an organization which refurbishes recycled computers and provides affordable technology and broadband service to low-income individuals and families. PCs for People’s work is touching many lives, helping to improve educational and economic outcomes.

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Innovators in Digital Inclusion

The Benton Foundation and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) are publishing a series of articles that explore the origins, strategies, challenges and funding mechanisms for successful digital inclusion organizations. We’d like to inject the experiences of each organization into ongoing policy discussions that affect federal, state and local digital inclusion efforts -- and to highlight best practices for other organizations working in this space.

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