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 Takes Next Steps to Combat Digital Discrimination

The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comment on next steps to promote and facilitate equal access to broadband internet service for everyone, with the goal of creating a framework for combatting digital discrimination that has caused harm to historically excluded and marginalized communities. Specifically, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on:

A dangerous side of America’s digital divide: Who receives emergency alerts

While America’s digital divide has been improving, large chunks of the country, especially rural and tribal lands, are still lagging behind in connection, according to research and experts, and that significantly hampers their access to vital, potentially lifesaving information. Without cell towers, urgent emergency alerts can’t get to phones and it is more difficult for residents to warn one another of danger or contact authorities. It’s a tough sell to get private companies to spend the time and money to build towers in rural areas, according to reports and experts.

Comcast agents mistakenly reject some poor people who qualify for free Internet

People with low incomes can get free Internet service through Comcast and the Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), but signing up is sometimes harder than it should be because of confusion within Comcast's customer service department. The confusion is related to a Comcast rule that makes customers ineligible for Internet Essentials low-income service if they have been a Comcast subscriber in the previous 90 days. That rule and another one related to unpaid bills are not supposed to apply to people who also qualify for the ACP.

Where Are We Now? Broadband Mapping Update

In November 2022, the Federal Communications Commission released our pre-production draft of its new broadband maps. For the first time ever, the maps reflect broadband availability at the physical location level. In fact, prior FCC maps only provided this information at the census-block level. That means these new maps provide the best picture available to date of where broadband is and is not available across the country, and the maps will only get better over time as the FCC gets input from stakeholders across the country.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards Nearly $9 Million to California in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that California received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. California is receiving $8,998,027 in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $5.5 Million to New Hampshire in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that New Hampshire received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. New Hampshire is receiving $5,525,033.51 in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $5.4 Million to Wyoming in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Wyoming received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Wyoming is receiving $5,430,005 in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $5.7 Million to Oregon in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Oregon received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Oregon is receiving $5,782,193.00 in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $5.7 Million to Nevada in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Nevada received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Nevada is receiving $5,754,458.89 in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $6.5 Million to Illinois in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Illinois received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative.