Digital Divide

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

New Tool Helps Navigate State Broadband Policy

The Pew Charitable Trusts released the State Broadband Policy Explorer - an easily accessible database that contains information on state-level broadband policy and legislation.

Groundhog Day? Rural internet firm says Comcast messes up its bill every month, squashing its prospects

Jeffrey Houser launched the rural internet-service provider Rednet by shooting Wi-Fi from ridge-top antennas to customers from Punxsutawney (PA) of groundhog fame to homespun Blairsville (PA). His vision was to bring the internet to rural areas. And all was going well until Rednet connected off-campus apartments for students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, expanding beyond his rural base, but also encroaching on Comcast's turf.  And that’s when, Houser says, his company ran into the buzz saw of Comcast’s billing and collections department.

Disconnected: Seven lessons on Fixing the Digital Divide

The Kansas City Fed launched a project in early 2018 to outline issues of the digital divide and identify innovative approaches that communities were taking to narrow it. This report provides a summary of what we learned and opportunities for narrowing the divide. It is not intended to be a technical report.

State Broadband Policy Explorer

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ state broadband policy explorer lets you learn how states are expanding access to broadband through laws. Categories in the tool include: broadband programs, competition and regulation, definitions, funding and financing, and infrastructure access. As you choose categories, a 50-state map illustrates which states have adopted such laws, which includes state statutes related to broadband as of Jan. 1, 2019.

How States Support Broadband Projects

As high-speed, reliable internet access becomes increasingly important in modern life, state leaders are seeking ways to fund projects to expand this vital service. Although the mechanisms that states use are fairly consistent—grants and loans, among others—they have different approaches for distributing funds and encouraging investment. This brief explores the ways in which states support broadband deployment projects and what they aim to accomplish.

Public Knowledge Files Comments Urging FCC to Drop USF Cap Proposal

Universal service is the core principle of US telecommunications policy, and Congress has directed the Federal Communications Commission to ensure affordable advanced telecommunications capabilities are available to everyone. Members of Congress from across the political spectrum, the Administration, the FCC, and state and local lawmakers vigorously agree that bringing the benefits of high-speed broadband to all areas of the US is a moral and economic imperative.

The Census Could Undercount People Who Don’t Have Internet Access

A problem could lead to the undercounting of the population of the United States, which would affect how billions in federal funds are distributed. It involves broadband. For the first time in our history, the US census will prioritize collecting responses online. In practice, this means that most households will get a letter in the mail directing them to fill out a form on a website. For households that do not respond, letters with paper forms may follow, and a census taker could eventually be sent to collect the data in person.

Vacancies on FCC's Native Nations Communications Task Force

The Federal Communications Commission seeks nominations to fill three Tribal vacancies on the Native Nations Communications Task Force.  Members appointed by the FCC Chairman to fill the vacancies will serve through the end of the Task Force’s current three-year term, which runs through October 2021. The Task Force’s mission is to make recommendations to the FCC on communications-related issues that affect Tribal interests.

The Hottest Phones for the Next Billion Users Aren’t Smartphones

Millions of first-time internet consumers from the Ivory Coast to India and Indonesia are connecting to the web on a new breed of device that only costs about $25. The gadgets look like the inexpensive Nokia phones that were big about two decades ago.

Remarks by FCC Chief of Staff Matthew Berry at CANTO 2019

I look at the agenda for this conference [Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations (CANTO) 2019], and there are sessions on promoting 5G, artificial intelligence, and machine learning across the region.  There are discussions on creating safer communities where our citizens are protected from risks ranging from natural disasters to cyberattacks.