Digital Divide

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

Accessibility doesn’t start with a website. It starts with digital equity

When we say “accessibility,” many of us think about adding keyboard navigation, high color contrast, and alt text to a website. But the reality is, even with accessibility features, your website is still inaccessible to millions who don’t have internet access or training to use a computer. The digital divide remains – 15 million Americans don’t have a computer and 24 million don’t have broadband.

FCC Commissioner Starks at Partnership for Progress on the Digital Divide

When I was invited to join you today, and learned more about this gathering and its goals, I immediately thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to lay down a marker about what I think is one of the most important issues facing America – and I will say it plain, that is getting the internet everywhere.

The Digital Divide Could Hurt the Count of Latinos in the Census

The 2020 Census is different from past surveys in two important ways.

Microsoft, Veterans Affairs Partner on Rural Broadband

The million-plus veterans who live in rural America without broadband at home are the target of a new program. Microsoft and its partners will work with the Department of Veteran Affairs to provide “capital, technology expertise and training resources” to bring broadband access to underserved rural communities with veterans in need. Microsoft has devoted considerable attention to rural broadband and the new program joins at least two other ongoing Microsoft rural broadband programs.

Pew to Launch Broadband Access and State Policy Explorer

Pew Charitable Trusts, which has spent more than a year studying Americans’ access to broadband, will soon be launching an online explorer inventorying the data it’s collected — including information on gaps to coverage and the policies state governments are pursuing to fill them.  The explorer will be a searchable catalog of everything from current laws and policies, to information on funding and financing, and will likely launch sometime late this summer, said Kathryn de Wit, manager of the project. “What we know at this point is that different communities can be difficult to connect for

‘We Do Not Have Coverage Here:’ Texans Take On Federal Broadband Maps

If the total number of people in the US lacking broadband internet access was a state — at around 25 million — it would be roughly the population of Texas. But many argue the maps showing who has access and who doesn’t are wrong.  Residents of Deep East Texas think they are one of those areas where the Federal Communications Commission has it wrong.

Sens Capito, Hassan Introduce Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Access Act

Sens Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) reintroduced the bipartisan Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Access Act to help close the rural-urban digital divide and expand access to broadband in rural parts of West Virginia, New Hampshire, and across the country. The Act directs the Federal Communications Commission to establish a national standard for determining whether mobile and broadband services in rural areas are “reasonably comparable” to service provided in urban areas.

Answering the Call for Rural Broadband

There is simply no business case for investment in many rural areas without more effective public-private partnerships. That is why recent efforts in Washington to target funding and bridge broadband gaps in rural America are so important.  Rather than creating new programs out of whole cloth, we encourage Congress to look to existing federal programs with proven track records, like the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund, as it considers how to distribute additional direct funding resources.

Wanda Davis of Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center says seniors can become tech savvy

A Q&A with Wanda Davis, founder of the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center (ASC3) in Cleveland (OH). 

What a Broadband Preemption Victory in Arkansas Means For Rural Cities

Arkansas ranks 50th in connectivity and has an average speed of 29.1 megabits per second (Mbps). The average speed for the United States is 42.7 Mbps. But that could soon change. Until recently, the AR legislature preempted local governments from establishing municipal broadband services, leaving AR communities at the mercy of private companies focused on profit. Now, AR is looking to build the infrastructure it needs now for all of its communities, urban and rural.