The gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all.
FCC Takes Key Step Toward Auction To Expand Rural Broadband, Identifying Locations Eligible for Support from Connect America Fund
Continuing its push to expand access to broadband in rural America, the Federal Communications Commission identified the locations of nearly 1 million homes and small businesses in 48 states that are eligible for up to $2 billion in support for broadband deployment over the next decade. Currently unserved by high speed Internet access, these locations are in largely rural areas, where, absent support, carriers are unlikely to expand service.
Sens. Moran, Manchin Call for Bipartisan Legislative Solution to Protect Free and Open Internet, Promote Rural Broadband Access
As senators who have been working to close the digital divide, we believe federal policy must continue to promote the expansion of broadband access across rural America. Consumers and innovators deserve clear rules of the road that will continue to ensure the internet remains an open marketplace, will drive our online economy and will support investment throughout our internet ecosystem.
Effective digital inclusion programs are essential for communities, supporting efforts such as workforce development, educational attainment, financial literacy, and better access to health care. Finding financial support for such programs requires creative partnerships, coordination with civic leaders, and messaging that articulates the benefits of such programs to communities. Join BroadbandUSA's webinar to learn how communities have funded digital inclusion programs using a variety of funding options such as local philanthropies, city budget mechanisms, and private sector support.
[Commentary] Why are we talking about digital inclusion and equity now in a way that is different from, say, eight years ago? The obvious answer – very different presidential administrations – only touches the surface. Consumers are adopting digital tools like never before and, in some segments of the U.S., we’ve reached a “tech abundance” threshold that is driving a bottom-up interest in digital inclusion in many communities. Tech abundance doesn’t mean that everyone in society has adopted digital tools.
[Comentary] The Federal Communications Commission GOP majority did what it was intended to do with net neutrality, which was ignore overwhelmingly positive public support across political affiliations and kill the policy anyway. Aside from hurting real sources of innovation, rather than the fake sources like finding new ways to charge more, it opens the door for people of more moderate means and the poor to be at a greater disadvantage than before.
Reducing effective Internet access has a profound impact on low- to moderate-income individuals:
Sens Heinrich, Heller Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Increase High-Speed Internet Access In Indian Country
Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee, and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Tribal Connect Act of 2017 to improve broadband connectivity in Indian Country. The bill would increase access to the Federal Communications Commission's schools and libraries universal service support program, known as E-rate, that provides discounts to assist public schools and libraries obtain high-speed internet access and telecommunications at affordable rates.
Dec 7, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai held a series of telephone calls with small Internet service providers across the country—from Oklahoma to Ohio, from Montana to Minnesota. They told him how the FCC’s 2015 Title II Order had harmed their businesses and why it is important to them that heavyhanded government regulation of the Internet be eliminated.
One of the major challenges for education technology leaders is addressing digital equity, particularly out-of-school broadband access. Hear how school districts are working with local, regional, and national businesses in leveraging the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to close the digital access gap. School and business leaders will discuss how collaboration can improve school-to-home connectivity as well as access to devices and internet-based resources for families in need.
Moderator: Jayne James, CoSN Project Director
[Commentary] On Thursday, December 14, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on a proposal to abolish net neutrality. People who care about rural America’s access to services and information should be concerned. Without net neutrality rules, consumers and the federal government have no way to prevent internet service providers from doing bad things to consumers until after the fact. And because there are no rules, how do you get providers to stop doing bad things to consumers and businesses?
International flows of personal information are more significant than ever, but differences in transatlantic data privacy law imperil this data trade. The resulting policy debate has led the EU to set strict limits on transfers of personal data to any non-EU country—including the United States—that lacks sufficient privacy protections. Bridging the transatlantic data divide is therefore a matter of the greatest significance.