Low-income

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].”

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.

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