The Federal Communications Commission has considered four aspects of diversity: 1) Viewpoint diversity ensures that the public has access to a wide range of diverse and antagonistic opinions and interpretations provided by opportunities for varied groups, entities and individuals to participate in the different phases of the broadcast industry; 2) Outlet diversity is the control of media outlets by a variety of independent owners; 3) Source diversity ensures that the public has access to information and programming from multiple content providers; and 4) Program diversity refers to a variety of programming formats and content.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai recently announced a couple of changes to the Lifeline program, which supplies phone and broadband services to people without the income to pay for them. Since his appointment in 2017, the former commissioner has worked to reduce costs while phasing out support for voice-only options in favor of high-speed Internet. The changes are simple: Starting Dec. 1, Lifeline’s mobile carriers will have to offer 4.5 GB of data each month, up from 3 GB.
Many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are located in rural areas and blighted urban centers. These are the same places where large communities of color struggle with access to health care and face innumerable obstacles to access affordable and reliable broadband.
When we talk about the digital divide, we need to peel back the layers. When we do, it is readily apparent that nearly three times the people who live in urban areas remain unconnected to broadband as those in rural areas. Additionally, according to Pew Research data, 34% of Black people in America do not have a home broadband connection, a disproportionately higher percentage than their white counterparts.
As anchors of the community, upgraded broadband infrastructure will help Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) serve the needs of unserved and underserved communities that are too often overlooked or ignored.
The coronavirus crisis may offer a grim preview of further marginalization for Americans of color in the coming decades, a new Deutsche Bank report concludes. "COVID is a picture of what the world might look like in the future as it gets more digitized," Apjit Walia, a technology strategist with Deutsche Bank, told Axios.
In a joint effort by Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC has created the Early Career Staff Diversity Initiative to advance equitable opportunities for underrepresented undergraduate, graduate, and law school students. The Early Career Staff Diversity Initiative has the following components:
The Benton perspective is this: Everyone in America should be able to use High-Performance Broadband, by which I mean broadband connections to the home that are robust and future-proof. Broadband competition is more important than ever because—in our current crises and beyond—America has fast-forwarded into its broadband future. Yet, New York, like the nation, has too little competition in fixed broadband to ensure that all people have the advantage of competitive pricing, quality, customer service, and innovation.
In this research brief, we use labor force participation and unemployment rates from 2014 to 2018 as indicators for labor market attachment, and we find disparities along these indicators based on patterns of broadband access and computer use. By analyzing patterns of broadband access, computer use, and disparities in labor market outcomes, we find that:
Across the rural US, more than 100 cooperatives, first launched to provide electric and telephone services as far back as the 1930s, are now laying miles of fiber optic cable to connect their members to high-speed internet. Many started building their own networks after failing to convince established internet service providers to cover their communities. But while rural fiber optic networks have spread swiftly over the past five years, their progress has been uneven.
University of Virginia Professor Christopher Ali spoke about rural broadband with the Reimagine New York Commission. The rural-urban digital divide is primarily one of infrastructure. At least 22.3% of rural Americans, or 15.8 million people, lack access to broadband infrastructure and are therefore cut off from the internet.