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.

Advocacy Organizations Submit Joint Comments to FCC on Digital Discrimination

A group of organizations referred to as the Joint Advocates [including the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the implementation of the anti-digital discrimination section in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In their comments, the Joint Advocates requested that the FCC conduct a study to assess preferential treatment for high-income broadband users over the needs of low-income users. The group makes the following arguments in its filing:

'Intentional' Should Be in Definition of Digital Discrimination, Say Wireless Internet Service Providers

Fixed wireless internet service providers represented by the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) are telling the Federal Communications Commission that intention to discriminate should undergird any rules meant to prohibit digital access inequity based on race, ethnicity, income, religion, color, or national origin. It also says rules should be tech-flexible. That came in comments on the FCC's inquiry into its legislative mandate to come up with rules that promote digital equity by eliminating discrimination in broadband deployment and access.

What States Should Know as Federal Digital Equity Money Arrives

The White House has taken its first steps toward distributing $45 billion of federal money aimed at getting the entire country connected to high-speed Internet, with President Biden inviting governors to start applying for these funds.

Municipal Broadband: Using Today’s Technology to Support Communities’ Futures

As the pandemic continues for a third year, addressing the digital divide is critical for local governments and communities to prosper. The solution is fiber and wireless broadband investment and ownership by municipalities, utilities, electrical co-ops, and Tribal governments. With access to fiber broadband, everyone from residents and tourists to government entities can benefit from telework, access online education, offer and access online services, use telehealth, take advantage of economic opportunities and stay connected.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel promotes digital equity in Detroit, Michigan

Federal, state and local leaders gathered May 16 to discuss improving digital equity in Detroit (MI), where a large portion of the population remains offline. The roundtable discussion held at Detroit's Cass Technical High School included Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, Michigan Lt Gov Garlin Gilchrist (D-MI), Detroit's Director of Digital Inclusion Joshua Edmonds, and Detroit Public School Community District educators and students. Their discussion focused on affordable internet access and the Affordable Connectivity Program.

WeLink Launches $100 Million Cities Challenge to Advance Digital Equity

WeLink announced the Cities Challenge to invest up to $100 million of private capital in deploying the company’s turnkey solution in low-income communities across the country. The company focuses on bringing ultrafast internet to historically overlooked communities to make them future-ready. The WeLink Cities Challenge allows cities to work with WeLink to deliver much-needed digital infrastructure in neighborhoods identified by government partners. Through the Cities Challenge, WeLink aims to partner with large and mid-sized cities to accelerate efforts to deliver lasting digital equity.

What the NTIA's Requirements for $42.5 Billion in BEAD Funding Say About Digital Equity

This is the third in a four-part series about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) digital equity and broadband grant Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcements from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has identified how the BEAD Program will intersect with the Digital Equity Act Program and how the two complement each other:

The First Bucket of Digital Equity Act Funds is Open

This is the second in a four-part series about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) digital equity and broadband grant Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcements from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Sifting through the Digital Equity Act (DEA) NOFO, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) identified the following highlights:

Notice of Funding Opportunity: State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program

The subject of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)—the $60 million State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program—is part of the Digital Equity Act’s larger State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, the purpose of which is to promote the achievement of digital equity, support digital inclusion activities, and build capacity for efforts by States relating to the adoption of broadband by residents of those States.

Introducing the Tribal Broadband Planning Toolkit

BroadbandUSA’s Tribal Broadband Planning Toolkit provides the guidance, knowledge, and resources to design, implement, and then execute a broadband plan in Tribal communities. The toolkit outlines seven, common elements that serve as the building blocks of a Tribal broadband plan: