Community Anchor Institutions

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

Governor Ivey Awards $188 Million for ‘Middle Mile’ Broadband Projects with Impact Across the State

Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) announced the awarding of more than $188 million to continue the expansion of high-speed internet access in Alabama. The grants, totaling $188,453,905, were awarded to 12 internet service providers to install more than 4,000 miles of “middle-mile” projects throughout Alabama. Middle-mile projects help fill the gap in broadband expansion to make it more economically feasible and less labor intensive for providers to extend services to unserved businesses and households in the state. The entities awarded grants are:

FCC Grants Waivers of ECF Service Delivery and Invoice Filing Deadlines

In this Order, we address six requests for waiver filed by Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program applicants (collectively, the Petitioners). Specifically, we waive and extend the service delivery date and/or the invoice filing deadline for the Petitioners who applied for ECF support for equipment, non-recurring services, and recurring services during the first and second application filing windows, recognizing the emergency nature of the ECF program as well as the limited, one-time funding opportunity it presents. Earlier this year, the Wireline Competition Bureau provided ECF first and

Reps Markey, Van Hollen, and Meng Lead Colleagues in Letter of Support for FCC E-Rate Rulemaking

Sens Edward Markey (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep Grace Meng (D-NY), led 64 of their colleagues in a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel supporting the Commission’s proposal to expand the E-Rate program to allow schools and libraries to loan out Wi-Fi hotspots to students and educators.

Department of Education's Plan to Close the Three EdTech Divides

In January 2024, the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology released the 2024 National Educational Technology Plan (NETP): A Call to Action for Closing the Digital Access, Design, and Use Divides. The NETP examines how technologies can raise the bar for all elementary and secondary students.

California Aims $2 Billion at Students Hurt by Remote Learning to Settle Lawsuit

In the fall of 2020, around the height of the debate over pandemic school closures, a lawsuit in California made a serious claim: The state had failed its constitutional obligation to provide an equal education to lower-income, Black and Hispanic students, who had less access to online learning. State officials distributed more than 45,000 laptops and more than 73,000 other computing devices to students, according to court documents in the case.

Democracy Fund Invests $3 Million in Local Organizing for Digital Equity

In 2023, Democracy Fund invested $3 million in grants to support state and local leaders advancing digital equity. We believe this work is vital for an inclusive, multiracial democracy. The 2023 Digital Democracy grantees  all share a commitment to action toward community-focused media policy and tech accountability. 

New Tools Help Federally Qualified Health Centers Close Care Gaps

Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are often the first point of contact for underserved populations seeking access to care.

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Announces Grant Funding Opportunities to Improve Telecommunications Access and Affordability in Wisconsin

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is encouraging eligible organizations to apply for grant funding to improve the availability of telecommunications services for Wisconsin residents. The grant funding opportunities include the Nonprofit Access Grant Program, the Lifeline Outreach Grant Program, and the Telemedicine Grant Program. All three grant programs are funded by the Universal Service Fund to help Wisconsin residents get essential and advanced telecommunications services. 

NFarms research will bring precision ag innovations to producers

University of Nebraska scientists and staff are formalizing existing research and outreach in precision agriculture into a strategic initiative called NFarms. The effort, in collaboration with producers and industry, will refine and expand precision agriculture capabilities crucial to boosting farm efficiency and environmental sustainability. NFarms will be a test bed for new technologies, as well as platforms to help farmers better harness data. The initiative also will develop innovative decision-making tools producers can use for efficient field management.

$120 Million Undersea Cable Project will Expand High-Speed Internet for Hawaii

The University of Hawaiʻi (UH) and Ocean Networks, Inc. (ONI) announce a $120 million, public-private partnership to construct a submarine optical fiber cable system that will connect the Hawaiian Islands and improve and expand high-speed broadband internet throughout the state. The project, the Hawaiian Islands Fiber Link (HIFL), is a key component of Connect Kākou, the state's broadband initiative, a top priority of the Governor Josh Green administration. Under the direction of Lt.