Digital Divide

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

Connect Humanity Announces Build Better Broadband Initiative

Connect Humanity, in partnership with Entrypoint Networks and Biarri Networks, announced the 'Build Better Broadband' program to provide Broadband Master Plan grants for communities seeking to solve their broadband gaps. The Build Better Broadband program will be providing grants for Broadband Master Plan, feasibility network designs, and proforma financial modeling for up to 5 communities. These deliverables are essential to establishing a plan to bridge the digital divide for your community.

Chairwoman Rosenworcel responds to senators on agency collaboration to improve broadband connectivity, Lifeline outreach

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel sent letters to 20 senators on November 10, 2021, in response to their letter urging the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the FCC to share existing data to identify communities without high-speed internet access and improve broadband connectivity.

Life without reliable internet remains a daily struggle for millions of Americans

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill recently signed by President Biden aims to help alleviate the problem by setting aside $65 billion for investment in broadband. According to Kathryn de Wit, project director for the Broadband Access Initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts, the package is a "significant down payment" in getting underserved households connected — in part because it also leant on the Federal Communications Commission to better determine exactly who lacked high-speed internet access.

New Mexico sees TV tech as one fix to K-12 internet divide

Internet problems continue to slow down many students in the US state of New Mexico, but a pilot project using TV signals to transmit computer files may help. On November 18, state public education officials distributed devices to eight families in the city of Taos (NM) that allow schools to send them digital files via television. The boxes the size of a deck of cards allow digital television receivers to connect with computers using technology called datacasting.

Tribal Lands Lag on Internet Deployment. Local Efforts Provide a Path Forward

The digital divide facing tribal communities is stark and has remained pronounced despite the best efforts of advocacy groups and tribes themselves to help Indigenous people get online.

Broadband adds slow as cable industry settles into transformative period

A new report from Kagan, the media research unit of S&P Global, shows that broadband subscriber growth has "cooled significantly in the third quarter" of 2021, stalling in growth for the first time in three years. The decline can be attributed to "a difficult comparison with the booming gains of 2020," the report says. Cable providers Comcast and Charter Communications both had fewer internet net adds in the third quarter of 2021 compared to 2020. For the third quarter, Comcast reported 300,000 net adds in broadband customers.

Louisiana aims to bridge digital divide by 2029

Louisiana’s goal is to have broadband service in all unserved areas of the state by 2029. To help bridge the digital divide, applications for Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities (GUMBO) grants are being accepted until December 31. That program, run by the Louisiana Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity (ConnectLA), is designed to help private providers bring more accessible and affordable broadband service to areas that have download speeds of less than 25 Mbps and upload speeds lower than 3 Mbps.

Arizona Department of Transportation to bring broadband internet to rural communities

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has been laying fiber optic conduit along a 46-mile stretch of I-17 between Flagstaff and Sedona (AZ) as part of a project to bring broadband internet access to rural communities in the state. The broadband initiative is made possible by a partnership between ADOT and the Arizona Commerce Authority. The project will create more affordable opportunities to provide rural communities in Arizona with high-speed internet service.

Bridging the digital divide: Investing where it counts

In 2020, we saw the consequences of the digital divide: the have and the have nots of broadband. Many students—particularly children and those residing in predominantly rural areas—fell unacceptably behind. 2021 is proving to be no different, and in some communities, it is even more dire, as many schools offer fewer online options for families. Thankfully, there are a few ways we can ensure that students are not left behind:

Meet the woman who will bring back net neutrality

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of children to attend school via the internet, Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel was sounding the alarm about US students who lacked access to broadband.