From Availability to Accessibility: Why the Detroit Public Library Began Partnering with Coin Laundromats

How do you Google a question you do not know the specific vocabulary to phrase? How do you sort through all the answers that come up, and avoid the ads that provide false or misleading information? Many people that we work with do not find high-quality, web-based resources to be accessible, even though the resources are technically available. While accessibility is near impossible without availability, availability without accessibility is perhaps even more disappointing.

FCC's Lifeline overhaul sets fire to a bridge over the digital divide

[Commentary] The Federal Communications Commission took its first major step toward overhauling the controversial Lifeline program in a move that will punish not just low-income citizens but perhaps small, innovative service providers as well.  Yes, Lifeline was once teeming with fraud, waste and abuse. Yes, the program still has significant flaws. And yes, companies that fail to provide adequate services should be forever barred from Lifeline for preying on some of our most vulnerable citizens.

FCC Moves to Transform Lifeline Program for Low-Income Americans

The Federal Communications Commission took steps to transform its Lifeline program. A Fourth Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Memorandum Opinion and Order changes FCC rules to:

Civil Rights Groups Question Lifeline Changes

The National Hispanic Media Coalition, Color of Change, NAACP and the Benton Foundation are among the organizations concerned about proposed changes to the Lifeline program, which is on the docket for the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming open meeting. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai -- who has long called for reforms to deter waste, fraud and abuse in Lifeline -- is seeking a vote at the agency’s Nov. 16 meeting on a major overhaul of the program, which subsidizes phone and broadband service for the poor.

Wilmington City Council approves $2.5 million in APRA funding for "DigitalBridge" jobs program

Wilmington (NC) City Council unanimously approved spending $2.5 million from federal COVID recovery funds on an employment program to connect residents to tech and digital industry jobs. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will help provide digital skills training and job placement services, focusing on what the city calls “high opportunity, high need” census tracts around the city. Wilmington expects that over 17,000 jobs added in the region between 2020 and 2023 will require 'digital skills.' The program, called Digital Bridge Wilmington, is expected to launch early in 2023.

Fort Worth, Texas, Partners With Cisco to Expand Wi-Fi Connectivity

Fort Worth, Texas, is partnering with Cisco Systems to offer free Wi-Fi within five of the city's underserved neighborhoods, potentially providing Internet access to as many as 40,000 residents this fall. The outbreak of COVID-19 exposed connectivity challenges in Fort Worth, illustrating the importance of residents having access to a reliable Internet connection at home to participate in education, healthcare and employment opportunities.

Two Initiatives to Foster Local Broadband Solutions

Two new programs will help leaders and local government officials address their community’s needs in practical, efficient, clear-eyed ways, with sensitivity to all the things that make their community unique: the "Urban Digital Equity Bootcamp," (UDEB) and the "Let's Get Going Broadband Program" (LGGB).

Bexar County, Texas, approves $25 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to expand broadband

Bexar County (Texas) commissioners approved allocating $25 million from American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds to expand broadband internet access.

New Research Finds Extending School, Library Networks Key to Connecting Households

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition and New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) released

DigitalC and Meta Bring High-Speed Internet to Affordable Housing Residents in Cleveland, Ohio

DigitalC has teamed up with Meta to make high-speed internet available to residents of four public housing developments in Cleveland. The partnership includes the funding, installation and delivery of fixed wireless internet services that will support more than 1,000 households with low-cost, high-speed internet. As part of DigitalC’s mission-driven, fixed wireless internet service, EmpowerCLE+, and Meta’s efforts to help expand and improve connectivity, more than 1,530 Cleveland households have been connected to broadband service across the Cleveland metro region.