‘No silver bullet’: Mesa tackles digital equity from multiple sides
When scanning the Federal Communications Commission’s latest broadband maps for funding opportunities, city staff in Mesa, Arizona, struggled to find places that still needed access. Mesa’s diverse geography includes older neighborhoods that lacked modern internet services as well as new developments with high-speed fiber.
NTIA Commits Nearly $5 Million in Internet for All Grants to Tribal Lands
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded grants totaling $4,997,592.68 to ten Tribes as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). With funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), these new grants bring the total of the program to over $1.77 billion awarded to 157 Tribal entities. These grants will help reduce monthly Internet service costs, plan for future Internet infrastructure investments, upgrade network equipment, and purchase devices.
FCC Commits Over $24 Million in Emergency Connectivity Funding
The Federal Communications Commission is committing over $24 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program, which provides digital services for students in communities across the country.
2023 Digital Equity Spark Grantees
The 2023 Digital Equity Spark Grantees and their projects are:
‘Chromebook Churn’ report highlights problems of short-lived laptops in schools
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed schools to provide all their students with their own devices, often low-cost Chromebooks. But now, many of these Chromebooks are failing, according to a new report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund entitled “Chromebook Churn.” Doubling the life of just Chromebooks sold in 2020 could cut emissions equivalent to taking 900 thousand cars off the road for a year, more than the number of cars registered in Mississippi.
FCC Adopts White Spaces Order
As the Federal Communications Commission continues taking steps to sustain and spur growth within the white space ecosystem, we adopt three orders addressing pending issues associated with white space devices. These actions will provide additional certainty to white space device users and manufacturers to enable unlicensed white space devices to operate efficiently while protecting other spectrum users. In the Report and Order we adopt rules specifying the database re-check interval for the new categories of mobile and narrowband white space devices established in 2020.
FCC Announces Over $2.5 Million in Emergency Connectivity Funding
The Federal Communications Commission is committing over $2.5 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program, which provides digital services for students in communities across the country.
Aspen Institute Introduces its 2023 Digital Equity Accelerator Cohort
The Aspen Institute and HP Inc. announced the selection of ten not-for-profit organizations and non-governmental organizations in Malaysia, Mexico, and South Africa for the 2023 Digital Equity Accelerator. Each organization is working toward the digital inclusion of marginalized populations and, with the support of the Accelerator, is poised to expand its reach and impact over the next six months. Selected organizations include:
How one Charlotte, North Carolina group plans to bridge the digital divide
The Center for Digital Equity, a local hub operating from Queens University of Charlotte working to bring critically needed technology, computers and digital literacy to residents in Mecklenburg County (NC). But being without a laptop is only part of the issue. The lack of technology can hinder residents from being able to take care of daily tasks like paying bills, checking the bus schedule or making health appointments.
FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Response to Members of Congress Regarding Telecommunications Networks in the United States
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel responded to a letter from a group of senators regarding the risks of foreign-managed service providers to US telecommunications networks. In her response, Roenworcel stated that she has made network security a top priority and is working with the Senator to ensure that the US assesses the risks posed by service providers outsourcing the administration of their networks to foreign entities.