Digital Divide

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

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

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman 

Broadband is on a mission for 2022

With the broadband gap laid bare by the events of 2020, 2021 saw a renewed focus on meeting the challenge once and for all.

The Reasons Rural Residents and Businesses Struggle to Get Fiber Broadband

Many rural residents and businesses are furious that they can’t get fiber broadband even though there is fiber close to their home or business. They can’t understand why the uncaring company that owns the fiber can’t make the tiny investment needed to connect them to fiber that’s already tantalizingly close to them. The fiber that runs close to the home and business is likely middle-mile fiber. These middle-mile routes are often seen as too valuable by telecom companies to serve last-mile customers.

How Will Big Telecom Companies Handle Federal Grants?

Several large telecom companies have announced big plans to expand fiber coverage, and I assume that also means heavily participating in the infrastructure law's $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) grant program that is aimed primarily at bringing better broadband to rural areas. It’s likely that companies want to benefit from the huge upcoming federal grants. The easiest way for them to take advantage of the federal grant is to plan to overlash fiber onto existing telco copper where the companies are already the incumbent.

Is New Orleans Trading Internet Access for Corporate Surveillance?

New Orleans (LA) is making an ambitious bid to deliver WiFi to the homes of its poorest residents. Using “smart,” electronic streetlights as nodes, it wants to establish a new citywide internet service, one that will compete with existing carriers like Cox and AT&T. The city intends to include a free tier for everyone who needs it, a group amounting to at least 16 percent of the population. But the plan is being met with skepticism from the left.

Beto O’Rourke targets Governor Abbott for vetoing Texas bill to improve rural internet access

National Broadband Availability Map Reaches 40 States and US Territory Participants

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) now includes 38 states, two US territories, and five federal agencies: US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US Department of the Treasury, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The NBAM is a geographic information system platform which allows for the visualization and analysis of federal, state, and commercially available data sets.

Affordable Connectivity Program Election Process Opens

Service providers who plan to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) could submit

House Republican Leaders Ask Administration for Detailed Accounting on Broadband Programs

House Republican Leaders sent a series of letters to federal agencies asking about steps they are taking to close the digital divide. The letters were sent by Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Oversight and Reform Republican Leader James Comer (R-KY), Appropriations Committee Republican Leader Kay Granger (R-TX), Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Agriculture Committee Republican Leader Glenn Thompson (R-PA).

NTIA Access Broadband 2021 Report

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released the first ACCESS BROADBAND Report, which highlights the accomplishments of NTIA’s recently established Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG) over the past year.