Digital Divide

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

When the ‘homework gap’ hits home: How rural PA students learn with limited broadband

Almost 340,000 youths in Pennsylvania who do not have access to a reliable broadband connection. At Penns Valley Area High School (PA), where at least 8% of students have only dial-up internet access at home, many teachers don’t assign internet-based homework.

19 million rural Americans have little or no internet access. Here’s how they hope to change that

The surprising role of the rural co-ops in providing high-speed internet mirrors an important chapter in US history, and sheds light on the financial challenges of connecting rural America, where residents say the lack of high-speed internet makes them feel left behind. After hearing requests, the Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative in Mansfield (PA), surveyed its members to see if they wanted the co-op in the broadband business. The response was a resounding yes.

Big Telecom companies are suppressing fast internet

A Q&A with Harvard professor Susan Crawford. 

It’s time for a new approach for mapping broadband data to better serve Americans

There are two fundamental problems with the data used for broadband mapping right now.

Determining which rural areas are covered poses a daunting challenge

A consortium led by USTelecom, ITTA, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), and a group of broadband companies have created a new initiative to improve the quality of broadband mapping. The Broadband Mapping Initiative will start with a pilot program in MO and one in my home state of VA. The pilot will aggregate all locations in MO and VA, identify their geolocation, and create a Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric to identify locations that require access to broadband.

Want Big Changes in Rural Policy? Start Working Now

The 2018 farm bill became the law of the land in December. What’s in the farm bill for the millions of rural Americans who are not involved in agriculture? The first answer is: Lots! The new law updates some of the key statutes governing the activities of USDA Rural Development and makes grants, loans, and loan guarantees available to towns, businesses, and non-profits in rural areas across the country.

Syracuse’s digital crisis: 1 out of 4 homes doesn’t have internet

Syracuse (NY) is the 10th worst city in the nation for digital connectivity. One-quarter of the city’s 54,000 households have no internet. That means people from more than 13,000 homes have to go to a library or a school or a neighbor’s house if they want to get online. Additionally, nearly half of the city’s homes don’t have high-speed broadband.

Chairman Pai Testimony Before House Appropriations Subcommittee

Here are the Federal Communications Commission's priorities for the next year:

A Needed USF Budgetary Cap

The Federal Communications Commission recently chose thoughtful and sensible policy reform when an item was circulated to Commissioners to begin a rulemaking that would establish a much-needed and overdue budget for the agency’s Universal Service Fund (USF).  Against the backdrop of special interest groups and uninformed detractors reflexively opposed to any restraint on the agency’s redistributive subsidies, I am proud to lead this effort to inject more fiscal responsibility into the USF. Hardly a revolutionary idea, budgets are precisely what American families and businesses rely on to ma

Industry Groups Weigh in on Rural Broadband Spectrum Priorities

The US Department of Agriculture is collecting comment on what is the best spectrum management policy to get broadband to more rural areas. In its comments, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) said it is all for a "rural first" approach to spectrum, which it calls quickest, most cost-effective way to get high-speed broadband to farmers, who can use it to help monitor and manage their crops.