Digital Divide

The gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all.

Tribal Broadband: Additional Assistance to Recipients Would Better Support Implementation of $3 Billion in Federal Grants

This report examines topics related to the  National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) including: (1) grants that reached Tribes that had not received previous federal broadband support; (2) the extent to which NTIA provided support to recipients on financial sustainability; and (3) the extent to which NTIA provided recipients with technical assistance in the environmental review process. Tribal leaders have hailed the TBCP as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to close the digital divide on their lands, areas that have long lag

NTIA-Funded High-Speed Internet Project Breaks Ground in Nevada

A project funded by a $24 million high-speed Internet grant from the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) broke ground in Reno, Nevada. Internet service provider Zayo Group, which received the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program grant.

North Carolina Awards $4.5 Million to Kinetic, Expansion of High-Speed Fiber Internet Planned

To bridge the digital divide, the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) will award Kinetic $4.4 million to bring high-speed fiber internet to unserved areas in two counties. This grant will enable Kinetic to significantly expand its fiber-optic network in Cabarrus and Union counties by the end of 2026, bringing gigabit internet speeds to 1,392 previously unserved locations. Kinetic will invest $1.9 million of private capital in this fiber-to-the-home project and cover any cost overruns.

Where the Puck is Going: The Close of the ACP and Coming USF Reform

I recently testified at a Senate Communications Subcommittee Hearing in support of legislation to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

North Carolina's Approach to Digital Equity and Education

On June 17, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, in partnership with the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, hosted a webinar titled The Power of Partnership: State Strategies for Digital and Educational Equity.

American Indian and Alaska Natives in Tribal Areas Have Among Lowest Rates of High-Speed Internet Access

American Indian and Alaska Natives living in tribal areas have among the nation’s lowest rates of high-speed internet access in the United States.

USDA Providing $25 Million to Local Organizations, Cooperatives and Tribes for Broadband Technical Assistance

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Dr. Basil Gooden announced today that USDA is making available $25 million through the Broadband Technical Assistance (BTA) Program to help local organizations, cooperatives and Tribes expand affordable, high-speed internet projects in rural communities. Funding is made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

Washington State's Plan for Affordable Broadband

To bridge the digital divide in Washington and strive to meet the state's universal broadband goals, the Washington State Broadband Office (WSBO) recognizes the intrinsic link between affordability and accessibility. The State of Washington is committed to investing in universal broadband access that is affordable, reliable, scalable, and sustainable to support equitable economic development and connect every community throughout the state, enriching the lives of all Washington residents and businesses.

A New Vision For “Open-Access” Networks as Operating Systems for Cities

What if a single fiber network could serve every client segment in a community, bring competition and choice for internet and services all the way to the desktop, and form the foundation for securely modernizing other critical infrastructure. Cities across the U.S. need all of the following: ultra-fast and affordable internet for residents and small businesses; modern connectivity solutions for enterprises, hospitals, and schools; “smart” transit and mobility solutions; responsible energy creation and power grid optimization; and sustainable water systems.

2024 Media and Technology Policy Platform: A Guide for Candidates and Policymakers

People expect unfettered and affordable access to communication services—and a media system that provides accurate news and information. A significant and bipartisan majority of Americans want to make sure their communications and internet activity are private, and do not want to see discrimination or intentionally false information online. Free Press Action's policy platform is a guide for candidates and policymakers seeking to uphold their constituents’ rights to connect and communicate and is supported by our members across the country, including in every state and territory.