The people who work in the communications industries.
“Middle-skill” jobs make up a large portion of the market, has positions to fill, but suffers from a dearth of trained workers—especially when it comes to digital skills. Digital skills refer to a person’s ability to use digital tools, applications, and networks to access and manage information. Pandemic-driven unemployment will only put the middle-skill issue into sharper relief.
About one-third of the U.S. job market is made up of middle-skill jobs, which do not require four-year college degrees. Data indicate that the number of these jobs exceeds the supply of available workers. The skills needed for these jobs include facility with the internet and computers.
Anne Schwieger, Boston’s broadband and digital equity advocate, explains: “Broadband is best understood as an ecology that allows places and people to adapt, evolve, and create.” But for too many people, the digital skills needed to use broadband effectively are too elusive. Governments—with nonprofits, private broadband providers, and community support—are working to ensure that broadband is not just deployed but used. That’s a multifaceted effort that depends on trust and resources.
I have a bad case of news blues. Journalism is fast becoming a vast wasteland. Newsrooms across the land are hollowed out, or in many cases shuttered.
The Federal Trade Commission this week held another set of hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. The hearings and public comment process this Fall and Winter will provide opportunities for FTC staff and leadership to listen to experts and the public on key privacy and antitrust issues facing the modern economy. The hearings are intended to stimulate thoughtful internal and external evaluation of the FTC’s near- and long-term law enforcement and policy agenda.
The coronavirus crisis may offer a grim preview of further marginalization for Americans of color in the coming decades, a new Deutsche Bank report concludes. "COVID is a picture of what the world might look like in the future as it gets more digitized," Apjit Walia, a technology strategist with Deutsche Bank, told Axios.
The Broadband Infrastructure Office and the NC Department of Health and Human Services Office of Rural Health conducted a feasibility study that examined the broadband, health care and telehealth assets – including the health disparities and broadband gaps as well as opportunities – for the 20 counties in North Carolina’s Appalachian region that are most affected by the coal industry. The study confirmed that:
Recently, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration reported initial results from our latest NTIA Internet Use Survey, which showed that Americans were increasingly using a larger and more varied range of devices. But with dozens of topics covered in the survey, there is a lot more we can learn from this data collection, including questions about online activities such as checking email, watching videos and participating in the sharing economy.
Expanding the ability to work remotely, learn remotely, and conduct health care appointments through telehealth will be key steps in permitting economic activity to expand in the second half of 2020, and beyond. Further, a report by the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society shows that connected students are more likely to check their grades, do research, look up class information, and collaborate with peers than unconnected students. But local responses to the pandemic have raised the stakes on differential access to the internet.