Agenda

What's on the agenda for policymakers.

Senate finishing crafting $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal, including $65 billion for broadband

Senate Democrats and Republicans unveiled a roughly $1 trillion proposal to improve the country’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and Internet connections, setting in motion a long-awaited debate in the chamber to enact one of President Biden’s economic policy priorities. The roughly 2,700-page piece of legislation, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, includes $65 billion to expand broadband Internet access nationwide and ensure those who do have connectivity can afford their monthly payments.

Digital Inclusion Week Indeed

In the coming days, we will see major progress on a $10+ billion federal investment in digital inclusion. This moment is unprecedented. We've never seen such a large commitment to making broadband service affordable for all. And, as Congress starts to focus on long-term solutions for universal broadband, we're seeing the potential for more digital inclusion investment in the coming months.

Here's how you can apply to the FCC for the $50 discount on your broadband bill

You may be eligible for a $50 monthly coronavirus pandemic discount on your home broadband bill starting May 12.

The American Jobs Plan

The American Jobs Plan is an investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China. Specifically, President Biden’s plan will:

What Will the FCC Do Next with Lifeline?

What constitutes a lifeline in 2021? Is it a phone? A smartphone? A fixed-location broadband connection? Or some combination of all these services?

Get in Line for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction

This week, the Federal Communications Commission established procedures for the first phase of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction (Auction 904, if you're scoring at home).

State of Illinois Announces Illinois Connected Communities Grants to Assist Communities with Expanding Broadband access and use

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Broadband announced the new Illinois Connected Communities grant program designed to assist local governments, schools, and community organizations with building broadband capacity.

A First for Digital Equity and Broadband Adoption

The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing entitled Empowering and Connecting Communities Through Digital Equity and Internet Adoption.

Digital Equity and Broadband Adoption

Current research suggests that low-income people can only afford to pay about $10  monthly for broadband. Anything more competes with other utility bills and the cost of food. Meeting the goal of universal connectivity and providing fixed broadband at about $10 per month requires a multi-pronged strategy - what my Benton colleague Jonathan Sallet calls an “Affordability Agenda.” It includes:

Do We Still Care About Diversity?

On Wednesday, January 15, the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing on diversity in the media market. In announcing the hearing, Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr.