Digital Divide

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

Strong broadband matters more than ever: Let's build it right.

We need to prioritize our communications networks to bring high-quality fiber broadband from coast to coast. Meeting today’s connectivity demands requires investment in sustainable networks — and that means fiber broadband. Fiber broadband is a superior technology that provides much greater bandwidth and speeds for more robust video, internet, and voice services.

Bridging the digital divide for rural communities more critical than ever

Broadband access was a concerning issue in many rural North Missouri communities and elsewhere throughout the country before the pandemic, but now the problem is even more pressing. As Congress continues to respond to this pandemic, bridging this digital divide should be a key focal point. I serve as the Republican leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees the development programs that build these types of economic bridges – in addition to programs that build actual bridges out of steel and concrete. One such program, under the U.S.

Pandemic Colors View of Broadband Deployment

The Federal Communications Commission is signaling that broadband deployment is still a work in progress, but it’s progressing at a pace that does not require regulatory intervention to speed it up. It is a conclusion being challenged by critics of the pace of broadband deployment, who argue that old definitions of reasonable deployment should not hold in the new normal of a pandemic. As with everything else in the country and the world, deployment is now seen through the lens of a pandemic, which magnifies the longstanding issues with the quality, or lack thereof, of FCC data collection on

Chairman Wicker Ready to Tackle Broadband

As the Senate returns, Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) says he’s ready to dive in on broadband discussions, an especially prime topic as Congress mulls its next phase of coronavirus relief. Chairman Wicker specifically invoked interest in reviewing Federal Communications Commission plans to dole out billions of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund dollars this fall. Chairman Wicker said that the auction would bring broadband to rural America. “We’re going to try to speed that up. It’s scheduled for October of this year.

Virtual School Leaves Kids Behind, Sparking New Broadband Push

The Covid-19 crisis, by laying bare the so-called “digital divide” at school systems and communities across the country, may achieve what years of lobbying by interest groups has failed to deliver: significant new federal funding to narrow the gap. A growing number of politicians of both parties in Washington are coming to agree.

Where's the Lifeline?

In the past 6 weeks, over 30 million people in the U.S. have filed initial claims for unemployment insurance. At a time when we are asked to stay at home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, many state agencies find themselves overwhelmed by the flood of claims, leaving millions with dwindling resources to pay rent or put food on the table or stay connected via telephone or broadband. A program at the Federal Communications Commission should be a lifeline to keep people connected.

Sen Capito: FCC Broadband Annual Report Shows Progress, Data Maps Still Need Improvement

Sen Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, said that the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2020 Broadband Deployment Report shows progress has been made in better connecting communities across the country. However, the report is based off of flawed data. "[T]his report is not perfect, and I appreciate the FCC’s recognition that more granular data is needed," she said. "The report is a positive news that the digital divide continues to close and that we continue to make progress.

The $5.25 Billion Cost to Connect Students at Home During COVID-19

On April 30, the SHLB Coalition partnered with CoSN, Funds For Learning, and SETDA to share the funding and policy actions necessary to connect students, teachers, and library patrons. Schools have either closed or shifted to online learning to mitigate further spread of COVID-19. According to analysis from Funds For Learning, at least 7.15 million U.S. households are unable to show up for class because they lack broadband access at home.

Mapping the distance learning gap in California

This report examines the ability of K-12 students in California to engage in distance learning based on the availability of an internet-connected computer at home.