Data & Mapping

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).

Gov Pritzker Announces New Interactive Broadband Mapping and Speed Test Tools

Governor JB Pritzker (D-IL) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Broadband announced a new interactive Connect Illinois Broadband Map and the creation of the Illinois Broadband Lab, a collaborative effort by the State of Illinois, university partners including the University of Illinois System and Illinois Innovation Network, and key stakeholders including the Illinois-based Benton Institute for Broadband & Society.

Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Response to Members of Congress Regarding Broadband Data Collection

Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wrote a response to US lawmakers' letter regarding the FCC's collection of broadband deployment data. The group of lawmakers wrote to Rosenworcel in July 2021 requesting an update on the FCC's broadband data collection progress.

How Many Users Does Facebook Have? The Company Struggles to Figure It Out

Facebook is struggling to detect and deal with users’ creating multiple accounts on its flagship platform, according to internal documents that raise new questions about how the social-media giant measures its audience. An internal Facebook presentation in spring 2021 called the phenomenon of single users with multiple accounts “very prevalent” among new accounts. The finding came after an examination of roughly 5,000 recent sign-ups on the service indicated that at least 32 percent and as many as 56 percent were opened by existing users.

CFPB Orders Tech Giants to Turn Over Information on their Payment System Plans

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a series of orders to collect information on the business practices of large technology companies operating payments systems in the United States. Specifically, the orders will compel information on data harvesting and monetization, access restrictions and user choice, and other consumer protections. The information will help the CFPB better understand how these firms use personal payments data and manage data access to users so the Bureau can ensure adequate consumer protection.