Digital Divide

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

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Responds to Rep Higgins on Broadband Data Collection

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel responded to Rep Brian Higgins (D-NY)'s letter asking for a progress update on the agency's broadband data collection process. Rosenworcel's response noted the formation of the Broadband Data Task Force, progress on the new Broadband Data Collection systems and processes, work on the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric, and the FCC's efforts to encourage people to use its Speed Test app as part of the agency's Measuring Broadband America program.

FCC Addresses Requests for Waiver of Emergency Connectivity Fund $400/Device Support Cap

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau addressed seven requests for waivers of the $400 maximum reasonable support amount for connected devices reimbursed through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The bureau found five of the petitioners demonstrated special circumstances that justify a waiver of the $400 support amount cap for connected devices. The bureau denied the remaining two requests, finding the petitioners failed to present special circumstances to justify a waiver.

White House Requests Input on Developing Digital, Community-Oriented Health Care Services

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requests input from community health stakeholders, technology developers, and other interested parties about how digital health technologies are used, or could be used in the future, to transform community health, individual wellness, and health equity.

How fiber and fixed wireless factor into cable’s future in 2022

In many ways, 2021 feels like the year fiber became real. Companies across the board unveiled plans for sprawling fiber deployments and billions in funding began pouring in from governments and private equity players alike. But the firm focus on fiber as we head into 2022 begs one big question: what does the future look like for cable? “I don’t think that you can talk about cable without also talking about fiber,” said Jeff Heynen, Dell’Oro Group VP of Broadband Access and Home Networking.

The ‘original sin’ of broadband buildouts is keeping people offline

Deer Isle (ME) is one of many places in the US where it can be a pain to get good internet access. At least, that’s what residents, visitors, the town manager and the state — all the folks who actually try to use a connection — say. Spectrum tells another story. In recent months, the internet provider has cited Federal Communications Commission maps to insist that it covers almost all of the island and that the area doesn’t need federal money that might help a rival build out more capacity and access.

Last Chance to Submit a Nomination for Digital Equity Champions

January 4, 2022 is the deadline to nominate one or more people for the Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award and the Emerging Leader Award. Named for Charles Benton, the founder of the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, the awards will be presented at Net Inclusion 2022 next month in Portland, Oregon.

Benton Welcomes Colin Rhinesmith as New Senior Director of Research and Fellowships

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Executive Director Adrianne B Furniss announced the appointment of Dr. Colin Rhinesmith as the organization’s new Senior Director of Research and Fellowships. Dr. Rhinesmith will find, secure, and manage a diverse cohort of fellows—researchers, advocates, and practitioners—and their projects supported by the newly created Marjorie & Charles Benton Opportunity Fund. In addition, Dr.

Democrats gear up for another attempt at confirming President Biden's tech nominees

Democrats are gearing up for another attempt at confirming President Joe Biden’s nominees for top posts at the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration after GOP objections stalled them in 2021. The three nominations — Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] for the open FCC seat, Alvaro Bedoya for the open FTC seat and Alan Davidson to head NTIA — technically expired when the December 2021 session ended.

FCC Launches Affordable Connectivity Program

In accordance with Congressional directives in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Federal Communications Commission officially launched the Affordable Connectivity Program, the $14.2 billion successor program to the Emergency Broadband Benefit which helped almost 9 million afford internet access during the pandemic. Eligible households are encouraged to apply to receive up to $30 per month discount toward internet service and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

Deploying Billions of Broadband Dollars Tops FCC’s To-Do List

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman