Digital Divide

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

Collaborating With Philanthropy to Address the Digital Divide in Native American Communities

Tribal lands and Native American communities are some of the least connected places in the United States. Infrastructure deployment lags behind that in other rural communities. Only 46.6 percent of housing units on rural tribal lands have access to broadband service. And even when they are connected, households on tribal lands tend to pay more for basic broadband plans and receive lower speeds.

Can Colleges Reach Beyond Campus to Foster ‘Digital Equity’ in Communities?

Connect Humanity is working with the city of Orangeburg (SC) and Claflin University to extend the university’s broadband out into the surrounding community at affordable rates.

FCC Authorizes Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Bids

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau, in conjunction with the Office of Economics and Analytics, authorized 497 winning Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) bids. This is the fifteenth authorization of RDOF bids from the FCC. The full list of authorized bids can be found here. Winning bids were approved in Arizona (California Internet, L.P. dba GeoLinks), Nevada (California Internet, L.P. dba GeoLinks), and Virginia (Shenandoah Cable Television).

Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity

The Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program (ACP Outreach Grant Program) is comprised of four complementary grant programs: 1) National Competitive Outreach Program (NCOP),  2) Tribal Competitive Outreach Program (TCOP),  3) Your Home, Your Internet (YHYI) Outreach Grants, and 4) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Navigator Pilot Program (NPP) Outreach Grants.

FCC To Release New Broadband Maps On November 18

The Federal Communications Commission will unveil a pre-production draft of new broadband maps on November 18, 2022. This version is the first release of the map required by the Broadband DATA Act and will begin an ongoing, iterative process that will improve the data submitted by providers by incorporating challenges from individuals and other stakeholders. Broadband availability will be based on data submitted by providers during the initial Broadband Data Collection filing window and will reflect services available as of June 30, 2022.

Philanthropy Builds Capacity So Equity Is at the Forefront of Broadband Infrastructure Dollars Spent in California

Building a critical mass of informed and organized community voices in the broadband policymaking arena to balance the historical presence of private industry is a long-term capacity challenge in California—and in other states. How do digital equity advocates make their voices heard during the rulemaking process for California’s $6 billion statewide broadband rollout? The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has new resources and authorities to be a partner to local governments and other agencies in closing the digital divide.

Heartland Forward Helps Accelerate Community-Driven Broadband Infrastructure Planning

Heartland Forward is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “think and do tank” focused on improving economic performance in the center of the United States. Its Connecting the Heartland initiative aims to boost internet availability, speeds, and adoption rates across America’s heartland.

ARPA Funds Helped Washtenaw County (MI) Build, Track Broadband

As it gears up to meet a goal of full broadband connectivity by 2025, Washtenaw County (MI) has launched a digital map that tracks its progress, thanks to American Rescue Plan Act dollars and general county funds.

Recommendations and Best Practices to Prevent Digital Discrimination and Promote Digital Equity

The findings from the three Communications Equity and Diversity Council working groups offer guidance to states and localities seeking to prohibit “digital discrimination” in broadband deployment, adoption, and use, as well as in the contracting and grants processes for funds related to forthcoming broadband infrastructure.

What Happened To New York City’s Internet Master Plan?

In January 2020, under former Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NY), New York City released an ambitious $2.1 billion plan for universal broadband across the city — the first effort of any large US city to strategize delivery of equitable internet access to all its residents. The proposal was to build a “neutral host” infrastructure that could be shared by multiple internet operators rather than a single company, increasing competition to the entrenched private companies that had failed to address New York’s digital divide.