Federal Broadband Programs

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Utah to Receive Nearly $1 Billion in American Rescue Plan Funds to Increase Access to Affordable, High-Speed Internet

The Department of Treasury approved broadband projects in an additional six states under the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Utah. Together, these states will use their funding to connect more than 180,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet.

It’s No Time to Disarm in the War Against the Digital Divide

The pandemic spurred policymakers and community leaders around the country to create programs to connect those without home broadband service or computers. These programs have had an impact. New government data show sharp increases in broadband and computer adoption in the 2019-to-2021 time frame. Initiatives such as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) have helped address “subscription vulnerability” for low-income households. With progress evident, it is time to extend and build on the ACP and local affordability programs.

FCC Releases New National Broadband Maps

The Federal Communications Commission released a pre-production draft of its new National Broadband Map. The map will display specific location-level information about broadband services available throughout the country – a significant step forward from the census block level data previously collected. This release of the draft map kicks off the public challenge processes that will play a critical role in improving the accuracy of the map.

Broadband Mapping By and For Communities

On Monday, September 26, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Director of Research and Fellowships Dr. Revati Prasad hosted an online panel discussion, From the Ground Up: Broadband Mapping By and for Communities, on how communities and states are collecting data on local broadband availability as the Federal Communications Commission rolls out the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) program.

UScellular envisions using BEAD funding to build more towers

Fixed wireless access (FWA) is a bright spot for UScellular’s wireless business. UScellular CEO LT Therivel said that the company’s FWA subscriber base is doubling every 18 months.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $5.7 Million to Puerto Rico in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is committing $5,781,987.00 in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to Puerto Rico through the territory's first “Internet for All” grants. The grant is for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs, as well as for planning for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the territory. Puerto Rico will receive $5 million to support the following:

Senator Thune (R-SD) Launches Nationwide Broadband Oversight Effort

US Senator John Thune (R-SD) will launch a nationwide oversight effort that will review numerous broadband programs spanning several federal agencies. The primary goal of Thune’s effort is to hold these agencies accountable and ensure that previously authorized broadband funding is being used in the most efficient way possible to protect taxpayer dollars. Sen Thune seeks input on the current broadband regulatory structure from a diverse group of stakeholders, including broadband associations, public interest groups, and free market think tanks.

Adoption is at the Heart of Florida’s Broadband Internet Policies

In May 2021, the Florida Legislature passed the Florida Broadband Deployment Act of 2021, codifying the Florida Office of Broadband, which had been created in the previous year within the state's Department of Economic Opportunity.

Chicago can defeat the digital divide, help kids succeed in school

One pandemic-era program demonstrated that Chicago can solve big inequities with a spirit of partnership and the right resources. Since launching in June 2020, Chicago Connected, the country’s most comprehensive internet connectivity program for students,  has served nearly one in three CPS students — more than 100,000 students in 60,000 households. In a new report, Kids First Chicago (K1C) found the connectiv

Avoiding a $75 Billion Broadband Flop

How much broadband will Americans get for the $75 billion that Congress committed in 2021? That’s enough money to equip an additional 17 million households with broadband, taking the US to 99 percent broadband coverage, according to a Federal Communications Commission staff paper and data from the Census Bureau.