Individuals who primarily Reside in a Rural Area

Heed the middle mile for rural broadband, industry leaders caution

Some $100 billion in U.S. broadband investment will be spent in rural areas before the end of the decade to close the digital divide. Yet industry leaders warn that a middle mile gap will remain if we aren’t careful.

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.

The Bad Business of BEAD

The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides $42.45 billion in grant funding to states via the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program (BEAD). IIJA also underscores that any state receiving these funds may not exclude local governments from applying to use these funds to build their own broadband networks.

Newsom's Broadband Cuts

In order to balance the state’s budget, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed $2 billion in cuts to broadband projects that would have expanded internet access across the state. The move outraged digital equity advocates in Los Angeles who say it could jeopardize efforts to reach some of the most vulnerable groups in the area. About 200,000 LA County households don’t have internet. “We are disappointed to see this rollback,” said Cristal Mojica of the Michelson Center for Public Policy.

The Biden-⁠Harris Administration Highlights Investments in Rural America, Invites Public Nominations for Rural Innovators Initiative

On May 14, the Biden-Harris Administration hosted a Rural Communities in Action event at the White House to highlight how the Administration is investing in rural communities.

Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen Visits Comcast Stafford Rural Broadband Expansion Project

Despite the challenges we’ve faced, we’ve emerged stronger and poised for future growth. Investing in high-speed internet is an Administration-wide priority, with a goal of connecting every American by 2030. It’s a key example of our agenda to expand our economy’s capacity to produce in order to drive growth while increasing opportunity for people and places that haven’t had enough of it.

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.

Congressional hearing in Bakersfield (CA) focuses on rural broadband debate

A delegation of US Congress members part of the Congressional Western Caucus and House Commerce Committee was in Bakersfield (CA) on May 10. At a nearly two-hour field hearing, Central Valley farming representatives joined rural internet service providers in highlighting the importance of high-speed connectivity to precision agriculture as well as poor communities reliant on computers for health care, education and remote work. While there was little question how vital internet service has become to rural areas, the underlying question was what role the government should have in not only he

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.

More Charter RDOF Withdrawals in Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that certain Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) census blocks are now eligible for other funding programs. This comes after Charter Communications and Altice informed the FCC of their decisions to withdraw from the RDOF support program. Both companies will face penalties for withdrawing from the program.