Community Anchor Institutions

Institutions that are rooted in their local communities by mission, invested capital, or relationships to customers, employees, and vendors.

Testimony: California’s K–12 Digital Divide Has Narrowed, but Access Gaps Persist

The COVID-19 pandemic made digital access an educational necessity and highlighted California’s longstanding digital divide—defined as disparities in reliable access to internet and digital devices. In spring 2020, when schools shifted abruptly to distance learning, only 68% of households with school-age children had reliable access to digital devices.

2023 Utah School Technology Inventory Report

In December 2023, the Utah Education Network, in collaboration with the national nonprofit Connected Nation, completed the state’s fifth school technology inventory. This is a statewide inventory of classroom technology and related resources at K-12 district and charter schools across Utah. Key findings include:

New Benton Research Groups To Tackle Critical Broadband Questions

The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society announced two new fellowship cohorts for our Marjorie & Charles Benton Opportunity Fund.  The Equitable Broadband in Urban America Research Group and the Policies, Plans, and Promises Research Group bring together researchers to work independently, but collaboratively on pressing broadband issues. We are excited about a research group model.

Digital Equity Plan for Older Adults & Adults with Disabilities

This Digital Equity Plan for Older Adults and People with Disabilities in San Francisco details an extensive investigative and strategic planning process aimed at enhancing digital equity for San Francisco's older adults and people with disabilities. The primary goals of this Plan are to describe the digital equity barriers and needs of San Francisco's older adults and people with disabilities, as well as the organizations that serve them.

American Library Association advances libraries’ role in digital equity as FCC shapes Learn Without Limits programs

In these comments to the Federal Communications Commission, the American Library Association affirms support for including Wi-Fi hotspots and services in the E-rate program, ALA urges the FCC to:

Remarks by President Biden at the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference

The American Rescue Plan provided $350 billion to state and local governments. Then we passed the most significant investment in our nation’s infrastructure in generations: roads, bridges, railroads, ports, airports, public transit, clean water, high-speed Internet, and so much more. You know, just like FDR passed the Rural Electrification Act to deliver electricity to nearly every home and farm in America, we’re building affordable high-speed Internet for everyone in America, because the Internet is just as essential today as electricity was then. Last month, I was in Wake County, North Ca

Out of the Box Thinking in Livingston County

The county government in Livingston, Michigan, was very clear—it was not going to become an ISP.  Long committed to principles of lean government, elected officials were certain that although 56 percent of households in this region do not have access to fixed broadband, the ideal solution should not be government-owned infrastructure. County Chief Information Officer Kris Tobbe set out to develop an approach that could balance minimal government intervention with effective access to critical infrastructure for residents.

What's Your State's Digital Equity Plan?

To achieve true digital equity, deploying broadband to every household in the United States will not be enough. What is also needed are robust, comprehensive programs that address the human side of closing the digital divide and ensuring everyone has access to the technologies, skills, and opportunities necessary to thrive. Over the last seven months and with funding from the Digital Equity Act's State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have released draft digital equity plans for public review and comment.

The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program Could End. Here’s Why That Might Not Be Bad for Schools

The Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which helps low-income families pay for home internet services, will end without Congressional action. The program, known as the ACP, stopped enrolling new applicants on February 7, and funding for all participants will run out by May.

A Wholistic Digital Equity Plan for Rhode Island

On January 9, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and ConnectRI initiative released the draft Rhode Island Digital Equity Plan for public comment. Through this plan, the Commerce Corporation is working to ensure that investment in digital equity efforts produces wholistic results—including widespread digital literacy and access to necessary devices as well as affordable, reliable, fast connectivity.