Individuals who are Members of a Racial or Ethnic Minority Group

Understanding and Driving Enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program

Fitting the monthly cost of a broadband subscription into a low-income household budget is difficult, to say the least, because of the costs of competing necessities like lodging, food, and healthcare. These financial pressures—and unexpected expenses—keep too many people in the U.S. from subscribing to home broadband service—or cause them to drop service at times to make ends meet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress recognized these obstacles for low-income people and created a program—first called the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program—to reduce the monthly costs of connectivity.

FCC Extends Preventing Digital Discrimination NPRM Reply Comment Date

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau granted an unopposed motion filed by Public Knowledge, The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, Center for Accessible Technology, Common Cause, Common Sense Media, Communications Workers of America, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press, The Greenlining Institute, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, MediaJustice, National Urban League, Next Century Cities, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and TURN—The Utility Reform Network seeking a 30-day extension of time for filing reply comments in the

Racial/ethnic and income disparities in neighborhood-level broadband access in 905 US cities, 2017–2021

Broadband access is an essential social determinant of health, the importance of which was made apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to understand disparities in broadband access within cities and identify potential solutions to increase urban access. This was a descriptive secondary analysis using multi-year cross-sectional survey data. Data were obtained from the City Health Dashboard and American Community Survey.

FCC Seeks Budget Boost to Power Equitable Communications Buildout

The Federal Communications Commission has asked for a budget increase of a little more than 5 percent for fiscal 2024 (FY 2024), given inflation and its goal of getting broadband to 100% of the US in an equitable and inclusive way. In its budget request to Congress, the FCC said its top priority is the universal broadband the Biden administration has said should be achievable by the end of the decade. To do that, the agency said, it wants a 5.3

Breaking barriers in fiber fieldwork

Tonya Felsinger spent more than half her life working in the food service industry. She obtained her GED a few years ago, and her GED teacher and an administrator at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) encouraged her to try the school’s new fiber technician training course.

It is Past Time To End Digital Discrimination—No More Excuses

Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission to pass rules designed to end digital discrimination. The directive could not be more clear: Enact regulations to “eliminate” existing digital discrimination on the basis of “income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin” and to prevent it from recurring in the future.

Digital healthcare equity in primary care: implementing an integrated digital health navigator

The 21st Century Cures Act and the rise of telemedicine led to a renewed focus on patient portals. However, portal use disparities persist and are in part driven by limited digital literacy. To address digital disparities in primary care, we implemented an integrated digital health navigator program supporting portal use among patients with type II diabetes. During our pilot, we were able to enroll 121 (30.9%) patients in the portal.

Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority Seeking Public Input on Community Engagement Efforts

Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority Executive Director Brandon Carson is asking Pennsylvanians to provide input on the stakeholder engagement process for developing two plans: the State Digital Equity Plan and the Commonwealth’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Five-Year Action Plan. The two-week public comment period began on February 27 and ends Friday, March 10, 2023. The State Digital Equity Stakeholder Engagement Plan will focus on engaging eight primary populations required through federal guidance – aging individuals, incarcerated individuals, veterans, indivi

Google conducting civil rights review, caving to years of pressure

Apparently, Google has quietly tapped an outside law firm to review how its services and policies impact civil rights and racial equity, following years of pressure from advocates and Democratic lawmakers to conduct such an assessment. The civil rights audit has been months in the making and is set to examine how the company’s diversity and inclusion policies and approach to content moderation may affect marginalized communities, including at its subsidiary YouTube.

NTIA Needs to Hear From You About Two New Digital Equity Programs

On March 1, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) sought public comment on the design and implementation of two components of the Digital Equity Act of 2021 (a part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act): the $1.44 billion State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and the $1.25 billion Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program.