What's on the agenda for policymakers.
Today, there is no expert agency ensuring that the internet is fast, open, and fair. Since the birth of the modern internet, the Federal Communications Commission had played that role. It makes sense. These are principles that have deep origins in communications law and history. After all, back in the era when communications meant telephony, every call went through, and your phone company could not cut off your call or edit the content of your conversation.
FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Proposes to Restore Net Neutrality Rules to Re-Establish the FCC's Authority Over Broadband Providers Under Title II
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel proposed that the FCC take the first procedural steps toward reaffirming rules that would treat broadband internet service as an essential service for American life. As work, healthcare, education, commerce, and so much more have moved online, no American household or business should need to function without reliable internet service. This was especially true during the pandemic.
With the common aim of ensuring that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy, each of the 50 states is currently drafting a digital equity plan through what one official called “the largest demonstration of participatory democracy that our country has ever seen." The states are tasked with developing long-term objectives for closing the digital divide by addressing the needs of eight "covered populations"—incl
Fitting the monthly cost of a broadband subscription into a low-income household budget is difficult, to say the least, because of the costs of competing necessities like lodging, food, and healthcare. These financial pressures—and unexpected expenses—keep too many people in the U.S. from subscribing to home broadband service—or cause them to drop service at times to make ends meet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress recognized these obstacles for low-income people and created a program—first called the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program—to reduce the monthly costs of connectivity.
On Monday, September 26, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Director of Research and Fellowships Dr. Revati Prasad hosted an online panel discussion, From the Ground Up: Broadband Mapping By and for Communities, on how communities and states are collecting data on local broadband availability as the Federal Communications Commission rolls out the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) program.
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC) joined Glen Echo Group CEO Maura Corbett for a conversation at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society’s 40th Anniversary celebration. In the wake of the unprecedented investment in broadband included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Corbett asked Clyburn where he thinks we’ll be in five years. “Oh, in five years,” Clyburn answered, “I think this is going to be a successful venture.” Representative Clyburn said attention now turns to states, like his home, South Carolina.
On April 6, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC) joined a packed house at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Washington, DC to help the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society celebrate its 40th anniversary. Congressman Clyburn (D-SC) is the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, and also serves, importantly, as chair of the House Rural Broadband Task Force.
At our 40th Anniversary celebration on April 6, we were delighted to honor Andrew Jay Schwartzman and celebrate his 75th birthday.
As Congress found in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband is essential to full participation in modern life in the United States. The aim of the Affordable Connectivity Program is to ensure broadband is affordable for any household no matter its income. Although the Federal Communications Commission has met an incredibly tight timeline to adopt rules and launch the new Affordable Connectivity Program, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Here's a quick look at what remains on the FCC's agenda.
Rosenworcel & Davidson: With Leadership in Place, NTIA and FCC Must Now Work Together to Close the Digital Divide
On January 11, the U.S. Senate voted 60-31 to confirm the nomination of Alan Davidson to be the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. Once sworn in, Davidson will lead the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is President Joe Biden's principal adviser on telecommunications and information policy.