How Have California School Districts Used the Emergency Connectivity Fund?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing to close out its Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), which Congress authorized in 2021 to facilitate remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New investment in broadband expansion 'an equalizing opportunity' for Wisconsin's rural communities

Leaders from the Biden Administration said access to high-speed internet will bring opportunity and dignity for residents of rural communities in Wisconsin and across the country. Tom Perez, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Don Graves, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce, visited Dairyland Power Cooperative in La Crosse (WI) on November 30 to talk about federal money for broadband infrastructure. Dairyland is one of the recipients of the Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Grant, a program created through the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

New York library to offer Internet through fixed wireless and fiber

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is looking to offer Internet services to low-income New Yorkers through a cutting-edge mix of fixed wireless access (FWA) and fiber. Garfield Swaby, VP of IT for NYPL, sees the organization as potentially offering a layer of telecommunications services alongside the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides subsidies to low-income Americans to help them pay for telecommunications services. The COVID-19 pandemic, and its resulting shutdowns across New York City, sparked the project.

Envisioning a Connected, Interconnected Alabama

The Alabama Digital Expansion Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) has released a draft of the state's Digital Opportunity Plan, which details Alabama's vision of a connected, interconnected future.

The Seven Broadband Gaps

Where are we in terms of closing the seven gaps that we think of, or should think of, as the elements of the digital divide? The seven gaps are the rural access gap, the affordability gap, the operating gap of very high-cost rural providers, the adoption gap, the institutional gap, the cable/copper gap, and the utilization gap. We could be using the network to improve outcomes in education, health care, government services, public safety, carbon reduction, civic engagement, and other public purposes. But to do achieve those goals, we need to close all seven broadband gaps.

North Carolina State Office of Digital Equity and Literacy Launches Digital Champion Grant Program

Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC) launched North Carolina’s Digital Champion Grant program, which will help North Carolinians afford high-speed internet, obtain digital devices, and access digital literacy resources.

FCC Proposes E-Rate Support for Wi-Fi Hotspots

The Federal Communications Commission initiated a proceeding to address the ongoing remote learning needs of today’s students, school staff, and library patrons through the E-Rate program and to ensure the millions who have benefitted from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) do not fall back onto the wrong side of the digital divide once the program ends. Specifically, the FCC proposes to permit eligible schools and libraries to receive E-Rate support for Wi-Fi hotspots and wireless Internet services that can be used off-premises.

How mobile hotspots support people experiencing homelessness

This paper seeks to address a gap in mobile communication scholarship by contributing insights from a qualitative study of library patrons who checked out mobile hotspots from the Boston Public Library in Massachusetts. The findings show that although mobile hotspots provided many benefits for public library patrons in general, these devices facilitated mobile communication with a different sense of urgency for six people experiencing homelessness who also happened to be in romantic relationships.

FCC Announces Over $5 Million in Emergency Connectivity Funding for Schools

The Federal Communications Commission committed nearly $5.2 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, which provides digital tools and services to support students in communities across the country. The funding commitment supports applications from the third application window, benefitting approximately 14,000 students nationwide, including students in California, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. The funding commitment will support approximately 23 schools and school districts.

FCC Launches Inquiry to Increase Minimum Broadband Speed Benchmark, Set Gigabit Future Goal

The Federal Communications Commission launched an inquiry to kick off the agency’s evaluation of the state of broadband across the country, as required by section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.