The gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all.
A new analysis by the University of Chicago has revealed vast differences in internet connectivity across Chicago (IL), with some neighborhoods reporting more than one-third of households offline. Researchers are now working to collect their own data to determine how the internet performs across neighborhoods, with the hope of influencing how $65 billion in federal funds to expand broadband access is distributed.
A $14 billion federal program to increase access to high-speed internet faces an early hurdle: The people who need it most are the hardest to reach because they aren’t online. The roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law that President Biden signed last November includes $65 billion to build up the country’s broadband network—a need
The Biden administration will partner with internet providers to lower the cost of high-speed internet plans for low-income Americans. The Affordable Connectivity Program will provide plans of at least 100 Megabits per second of speed for no more than $30.
A new association to be known as the American Association of Public Broadband (AAPB) was recently announced. AAPB aims to advocate for municipal networks and is open to government agencies that are planning to build or that currently own or operate a municipal network, as reported by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. These networks could involve public-private partnerships.
With Internet connectivity now viewed as a public necessity for telework and education, universities across the US are partnering with local governments and community organizations on initiatives to expand broadband access and close the digital divide once and for all.
Fellow broadband offices are one of the most valuable resources new state broadband directors can leverage, experienced directors say. During the Broadband Communities Summit, Connect Maine Authority Executive Director Peggy Schaffer said that communication between state broadband offices is critical so that states do not make the same mistakes twice. “The knowledge that [broadband offices] share is [a great resource],” she said. She added that this is particularly important for newer broadband directors who may not have much experience working in the sector.
The Hispanic Federation and Comcast NBCUniversal have partnered to help community organizations in 20 cities, including Philadelphia (PA), battle the digital divide that sets Latinos behind in the workforce.
Tens of billions of dollars in federal funding are poised for new broadband infrastructure deployment over the next five years. But a crucial step in allocating funds from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program - for states and local governments - lies in knowing where fast, affordable, reliable broadband access currently is, so that they know where to drive new investment.
Los Angeles Unified School District Offers Spectrum Enterprise Stay Connected K-12 Solution to Families
Charter Communications announced that it is working with the Los Angeles (CA) Unified School District (LAUSD) to help thousands of families who lack robust internet connectivity at home enroll in the Spectrum Enterprise Stay Connected K-12 solution, which is provided at no cost for students. The Stay Connected K-12 offering is part of the District’s broader efforts to help close the digital divide in its communities and make it easier for all students to fulfill their academic potential.