Individuals with a Language Barrier

Digital Equity Act of 2021 Request for Comments

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 includes a historic investment of $65 billion to help close the digital divide and ensure that everyone in America has access to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service. The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is responsible for distributing more than $48 billion in funding through several different programs.

Digital Opportunities Compass

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which includes the Digital Equity Act of 2021 (DEA), establishes a broad framework and significant funding to advance broadband connectivity and digital equity. The law recognizes key factors and populations to address when striving for digital equity. To fully realize the full benefits of digital technology for individuals, communities, and society at large additional insights are needed. The Digital Opportunities Compass is an holistic framework for broadband and digital equity planning, implementation and evaluation.

Chairwoman Seeks Information on Multilingual Wireless Emergency Alerts

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel sent letters to the nation’s 9 largest providers of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) seeking information on how these alerts can start to support more languages beyond English and Spanish. WEA messages provide geographically targeted, text-like messages to mobile devices alerting consumers of imminent threats to safety in their area. Since the program became operational in 2012, it has been used more than 70,000 times to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, or other critical situations.

Chicago Digital Equity Plan

Nearly 172,000 Chicago households (over 15%) don’t have internet at home, and nearly 92,000 (roughly 8%) don’t have any device, including a computer, laptop, tablet, or smart mobile device.

Minnesotans Urged to Play Role in Digital Equity Plan

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's Office of Broadband Development (OBD) is developing a digital equity plan to create improvements in internet affordability, access to internet-enabled devices, and ways to provide digital skills training. We want to hear from Minnesotans most impacted by the digital access and skills gap to ensure our digital equity plan reflects the goals and needs of all Minnesotans. This plan will help us determine how to spend federal funding coming in 2024 aimed at increasing digital access and skills.

Hispanic groups renew push for FCC pick as President Biden renominates Gigi Sohn

A coalition of Hispanic groups is renewing calls for President Joe Biden to “name a person of Latino descent” to the Federal Communications Commission. The campaign comes as the White House forges ahead with the long-stalled nomination of Gigi Sohn. The groups lamented that the FCC has lacked a Latino commissioner for over two decades and said appointing one would make it “more likely” the agency would “champion equitable language access” and push for more inclusive internet access policies.

Your town may have high-speed internet. But does everyone in your community have access?

For the last decade in Western Massachusetts, closing the digital divide meant getting fiber, cable, or wireless service to every address.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $5.5 Million to Nebraska in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awards Nebraska with its first “Internet for All” grant for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs. Nebraska is receiving $5,598,563.04 in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet throughout the state. Nebraska will receive $4,999,817.07 to fund:

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Turns One: A Progress Report on Internet For All

The Internet For All initiative is moving with speed to deliver on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s goal.  We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in the first year, which includes:

The Infrastructure Law is Still about More than Money

A year ago, I urged us all to look beyond the $65 billion the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act sets aside for broadband and realize the importance of Congress’ recognition that access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband is essential to full participation in modern life in the United States. I still find this renewed and updated Congressional commitment to universal service to be astounding. We should continue to celebrate it—and continue the work that ensures this commitment becomes a reality.