Digital Divide

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

FCC's Lifeline overhaul sets fire to a bridge over the digital divide

[Commentary] The Federal Communications Commission took its first major step toward overhauling the controversial Lifeline program in a move that will punish not just low-income citizens but perhaps small, innovative service providers as well.  Yes, Lifeline was once teeming with fraud, waste and abuse. Yes, the program still has significant flaws. And yes, companies that fail to provide adequate services should be forever barred from Lifeline for preying on some of our most vulnerable citizens.

FCC Moves to Transform Lifeline Program for Low-Income Americans

The Federal Communications Commission took steps to transform its Lifeline program. A Fourth Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Memorandum Opinion and Order changes FCC rules to:

Civil Rights Groups Question Lifeline Changes

The National Hispanic Media Coalition, Color of Change, NAACP and the Benton Foundation are among the organizations concerned about proposed changes to the Lifeline program, which is on the docket for the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming open meeting. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai -- who has long called for reforms to deter waste, fraud and abuse in Lifeline -- is seeking a vote at the agency’s Nov. 16 meeting on a major overhaul of the program, which subsidizes phone and broadband service for the poor.

NCTA: American Rescue Plan Funds Should Not Favor Government Nets

While cable broadband operators are okay with most of the Treasury Department's framework for handing out billions of dollars in broadband deployment and adoption funds via the American Rescue Plan, prioritizing government owned or operated networks remains a point of contention. When the Treasury sought public input on the framework, NCTA-The Internet and Television Association said there could be limited circumstances to allow them--where there is insuffici

Lawmakers Introduce Bicameral Legislation to Close the Homework Gap

Sen Edward Markey (D-MA), Sen Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Rep Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced the Securing Universal Communications Connectivity to Ensure Students Succeed (SUCCESS) Act to build on the Emergency Connectivity Fund created under the American Rescue Plan and provide schools and libraries with $8 billion a year over five years -- for a total of $40 billion -- to continue to provide Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and internet-enabled devices to students, staff, and library patrons following the coronavirus

Slow broadband adoption needs an accessible real-time solution

While making broadband available is an obvious first step to closing the digital divide, getting people to use it as a way of life takes more than bringing it to their doorsteps. Over the coming weeks and months, Congress, industry and stakeholders must work together to formulate a multi-pronged approach that not only tackles broadband availability and affordability, but also the accessibility component of the digital divide. The National Urban League’s Lewis Latimer Plan sh

Californians Can Now Choose Their Broadband Destiny

Despite being one of the world’s largest economies, the state of California was long without a broadband plan for universal, affordable, high-speed access. It is clear that access that meets their needs requires fiber optic infrastructure, yet most Californians were stuck with slow broadband monopolies due to laws supported by the cable monopolies providing terrible service. But all of that is finally coming to an end.

The FCC’s emergency internet discounts are leaving millions behind

Nearly 4 million households have enrolled in the Federal Communications Commission's emergency broadband benefit program since it launched in May. But as researchers have begun digging into data recently released by the FCC, they're finding that not only are the vast majority of eligible Americans still being left out of the $3.2 billion program, but there are also stark geographic differences in where people are being enrolled.

Charter gets cracking on Rural Digital Opportunity Fund builds in 3 states

The Federal Communications Commission has yet to distribute funding to the winners of its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction, but that isn’t stopping Charter Communications from getting to work on rural coverage expansion projects. Charter handed Gibson Technical Services a contract to handle construction for its RDOF projects in Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina.

House of Representatives Passes Five Communications and Technology Bills

The House of Representatives passed the following five communications and technology bills on June 20: