Biden-Harris Administration Approves Colorado and New Hampshire’s “Internet for All” Initial Proposals

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has approved Colorado and New Hampshire’s Initial Proposals for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, a cornerstone of the Biden-Harris Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative. This approval enables Colorado and New Hampshire to request access to funding and begin implementation of the BEAD program—a major step towards closing the digital divide and meeting the President’s goal of connecting everyone in America with affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service.

Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program: What We Know and What’s to Come

The release of the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on March 29th triggered the countdown for the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) mandates releasing the Competitive Grant NOFO within 30 days of the first Capacity award, so we expect it by late summer/early fall 2024. We will not know all the specifics until the NOFO is released.

Digital and Educational Equity: How States Plan to Partner with Educational Institutions

Digital equity cannot be fully realized without the participation of educational institutions, including K-12 public schools, community colleges, historically black and other minority serving colleges and universities, and extension programs. Many state digital equity plans embrace education and potential collaborations with educational institutions. All states acknowledge that digital equity is critical to education.

Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence One-Year Anniversary

On May 15, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel spoke about the National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. She spoke about some of the actions the FCC has taken to help and protect survivors of domestic abuse, including requiring phone carriers to "swiftly and securely separate phone lines of survivors from family plans." The Chairwoman also spoke about action the FCC is taking to prevent internet connected cars from being used by abusers to stalk and harass survivors. "I don’t think that answer is good enough.

NDIA Continues to Fight for Rigorous Digital Discrimination Rules

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance has warned policymakers about digital redlining, a discriminatory practice that prevents certain populations from having internet access, since 2017. Thanks in part to these warnings and advocacy efforts, the creation of digital discrimination rules was mandated in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Pillars, Policies, And Plausible Pathways Linking Digital Inclusion And Health Equity

Digital inclusion is considered a super social determinant of health and rests on four pillars: available and affordable broadband service, quality devices, digital skills and training, and technical support for using accessible applications. Evidence suggests two pathways through which digital inclusion and health equity are connected. The direct pathway is through increasing access to health care services.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline Issues Letter of Support for the Affordable Connectivity Program

On behalf of The National Domestic Violence Hotline, we write to request robust additional funding for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Access to affordable high-speed internet is not a luxury in 2024. This ACP is the largest broadband affordability effort in our Nation’s history which has successfully allowed more than 23 million households to get—and stay—connected to robust broadband service at home.

Expanding Access to Telehealth for Women's Healthcare in a Constrained Policy Environment

As states continue to enact new restrictions on reproductive care since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, access to critical reproductive health care services have been severely threatened. Medications prescribed after a telehealth visit present a safe and effective option; expanding telehealth for prescriptions would increase access to and equity in the provision of reproductive health care. This study identifies practical and near-term opportunities to expand equitable access to women's telehealth care across the United States.

Initial funding for digital equity plans is available. But how do states plan to use it?

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently finished approving digital equity plans for all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington (DC) in what Administrator Alan Davidson called a “milestone moment.” The grants announced in the March 29 notice of funding opportunity can be used to begin implementation of those plans, which identify the barriers in each sta

Achieving Digital Equity in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands' Next Generation Network (viNGN) released the draft U.S. Virgin Islands Digital Equity Plan (USVIDEP) for public comment. Being disconnected from a connected world is not new to the U.S. Virgin Islands.