Data & Mapping
Understanding and Driving Enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program
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.
FCC Releases New National Broadband Maps
The Federal Communications Commission released a pre-production draft of its new National Broadband Map. The map will display specific location-level information about broadband services available throughout the country – a significant step forward from the census block level data previously collected. This release of the draft map kicks off the public challenge processes that will play a critical role in improving the accuracy of the map.
Status Update: Mapping Where Broadband Is—and Is Not—Available in the US
For as long as people have been talking about the digital divide, there have been complaints that we lack detailed maps to tell us exactly where broadband is—and is not—available. I wanted to give people a brief of the latest key developments:
Growth in EBB Enrollment since June has been in Large Cities and Places with Low Broadband Adoption
Since the Emergency Broadband Benefit launched in May 2021, enrollment has grown steadily. By the end of June, 3.1 million households had enrolled, a figure that rose to 7.4 million by the beginning of November. Analysis of the geography of this growth shows that it was not evenly distributed. South Florida, Detroit, Chicago, and New York City have all seen very strong growth in enrollment since June. In the Los Angeles area, more than 100,000 additional households have signed up since then.
First Awards Distributed Under Economic Development Administration’s American Rescue Plan Programs
The US Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration has begun awarding its historic $3 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. EDA awarded $24 million in grants to states and territories across the nation for statewide planning efforts to boost economic development, enhance US competitiveness, combat the climate crisis, and recover from the pandemic. EDA will fun
Consumer Reports launches Broadband Together — a nationwide search for the truth about your internet service
In a first-of-its-kind effort, the Broadband Together initiative is asking people across the country to share their monthly internet bills — so we can find out what we’re really getting for our money, and advocate for a better internet that costs less. Consumer Reports is asking thousands of consumers to share their monthly internet bills at broadbandtogether.org so CR can analyze the cost, quality, and speeds that are being delivered to people in communities across the US, and to bet
Counties: The Missing Pieces in the Broadband Puzzle
At least in the state of Virginia, counties are rural, yet they have been left out of the design of broadband deployment and the conversation around rural broadband. Nevertheless, they are a crucial part of the local broadband story, and their support can go a long way in bridging the digital divide. In this article, we offer preliminary analysis of a question about broadband deployment.
On Democracy, Unity, & Broadband
Probably like you, I made sure to make time to watch the Inauguration on January 20. Whenever a President is sworn in, his Inauguration speech sets the tone for his entire Administration.
The Last Broadband Gifts From the 116th Congress
With great drama, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 became law on December 27, 2021. The $2.3 trillion COVID relief and government spending bill extended unemployment benefits and ensured the government can keep running. The $900 billion COVID relief provision includes over $7 billion to help improve connectivity in the U.S.
Broadband for America Now
In October 2019, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society issued Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s. The agenda was comprehensive, constructed upon achievements in communities and insights from experts across the nation. The report outlined the key building blocks of broadband policy—deployment, competition, community anchor institutions, and digital equity (including affordability and adoption).