Healthcare Facilities

A system-wide approach to digital equity: the Digital Access Coordinator program in primary care

The rapid transition to a digital front door of healthcare prompted by the pandemic made evident disparities in who had access to digital tools. Like other healthcare organizations, at the beginning of the pandemic, we found disparities in access to patient portals and video visits. Digital disparities are driven by multiple factors including lack of internet access, devices, language-adapted platforms as well as limited digital literacy.

FCC Announces Inflation-Based Caps for E-Rate and Rural Health Care Programs

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced the E-Rate and Rural Health Care (RHC) programs’ annual caps for funding year 2024. The adjusted amounts represent a 3.6% inflation-adjusted increase to both programs’ funding year 2023 annual caps. The E-Rate program funding cap for funding year 2024 is $4,940,076,139. The RHC program funding cap for funding year 2024 is $706,926,603.

Protecting Americans From Hidden FCC Tax Hikes

The Federal Communications Commission is poised to raise taxes through its Universal Service Fund—a regressive, hidden tax on consumers' phone bills that funds a series of unaccountable, bloated internet subsidy programs. Rather than giving the FCC carte blanche to expand its balance sheet, Congress must reform the USF's structural problems, reevaluate its component programs, and get the FCC's spending under control. Here is my plan to do that. 

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Tens of Millions of Dollars to Help Close the Digital Divide in Pennsylvania as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the approval of $20 million for digital connectivity projects in Pennsylvania under the US Department of the Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF). The award will fund Pennsylvania’s Digital Access Opportunity Grant program, through which the commonwealth will partner with community anchor institutions (CAIs) to increase access to laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and Wi-Fi devices to individuals in Pennsylvan

USDA Accepting Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Applications

The US Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service is accepting applications under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program for fiscal year (FY) 2024, subject to the availability of funding. Based on FY 2023 appropriated funding, RUS estimates that approximately $60 million will be available for FY 2024. Successful applications will be selected for funding and subsequently awarded to the extent that funding may ultimately be made available through appropriations.

New Benton Research Groups To Tackle Critical Broadband Questions

The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society announced two new fellowship cohorts for our Marjorie & Charles Benton Opportunity Fund.  The Equitable Broadband in Urban America Research Group and the Policies, Plans, and Promises Research Group bring together researchers to work independently, but collaboratively on pressing broadband issues. We are excited about a research group model.

Digital Equity Plan for Older Adults & Adults with Disabilities

This Digital Equity Plan for Older Adults and People with Disabilities in San Francisco details an extensive investigative and strategic planning process aimed at enhancing digital equity for San Francisco's older adults and people with disabilities. The primary goals of this Plan are to describe the digital equity barriers and needs of San Francisco's older adults and people with disabilities, as well as the organizations that serve them.

Governor Ivey Awards $188 Million for ‘Middle Mile’ Broadband Projects with Impact Across the State

Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) announced the awarding of more than $188 million to continue the expansion of high-speed internet access in Alabama. The grants, totaling $188,453,905, were awarded to 12 internet service providers to install more than 4,000 miles of “middle-mile” projects throughout Alabama. Middle-mile projects help fill the gap in broadband expansion to make it more economically feasible and less labor intensive for providers to extend services to unserved businesses and households in the state. The entities awarded grants are:

New Tools Help Federally Qualified Health Centers Close Care Gaps

Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are often the first point of contact for underserved populations seeking access to care.

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Announces Grant Funding Opportunities to Improve Telecommunications Access and Affordability in Wisconsin

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is encouraging eligible organizations to apply for grant funding to improve the availability of telecommunications services for Wisconsin residents. The grant funding opportunities include the Nonprofit Access Grant Program, the Lifeline Outreach Grant Program, and the Telemedicine Grant Program. All three grant programs are funded by the Universal Service Fund to help Wisconsin residents get essential and advanced telecommunications services.