Low-income

Congress cannot sacrifice patient health and access to medical care

Our nation’s health depends on immediate action to ensure that Americans urged to stay home can do so. Households that otherwise cannot afford it must receive access to broadband internet and unlimited telephone use. The Senate will very soon consider a coronavirus stimulus package: it must include an emergency communications benefit. The Senate should act to offer low-income households a $50 monthly benefit to obtain faster speed broadband and unlimited talk and text for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus Pandemic Spotlights Problems With Online Learning

Distance learning in the pandemic highlights a problem that experts have warned about for years - some students have good access to the Internet, and others do not. It's called the digital divide. Many districts are about to start the school year with more distance learning, so how can they narrow that divide? Nicol Turner Lee thinks it's important for schools to put together what she calls the 21st-century remote access blueprint.

Research Notes Before and During COVID-19 on Digital Inequity

Prior to COVID-19, I interviewed individuals experiencing the digital divide phenomenon and were also avid public library users. I learned that their public library supported their needs on a daily basis.

Coronavirus unveils the digital divide in our education system

The coronavirus has exposed a deeply rooted problem in childhood education that could damage our national economy long after the pandemic subsides. Broadly speaking, that problem is a lack of preparedness for the future. As the private sector grows increasingly digitized with each passing year, many American students lack even a basic understanding of digital technologies, and are becoming less qualified for the thousands of advanced manufacturing jobs that will soon dominate America’s mid-century economy.

Senate Bill to Help Americans Keep Broadband Access During the Pandemic

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and 26 Senate Democrats introduced the Emergency Broadband Connections Act to ensure that millions of Americans can access essential broadband connections in the middle of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The legislation would provide a $50/month benefit to workers who have been laid off or furloughed during the pandemic, along with a range of other assistance to ensure families can access critical online services.

Pandemic internet aid is ending, but digital divide remains

Thousands of people in communities across the country are about to grapple with losing broadband service. Free services started to help low-income families during the pandemic and a pledge not to cut off service or charge late fees to customers struggling financially are ending June 30. If left unaddressed, this end threatens to unravel a precarious thread of the social safety net at a particularly difficult time for many American families.

Make broadband far more affordable

We urge Congress to establish a broadband credit — call it America’s Broadband Credit — to ensure many more people can afford high-speed Internet access. Congress could set a household subsidy of $50 per month, which is roughly the cost of medium-tier broadband plans in urban settings (and it could provide a higher subsidy for tribal lands). That subsidy would allow anyone and any device in the household to be connected to the Internet, simultaneously, which is how so many families today are operating.

What Chairman Pai is Telling Congress About the End of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge

Just over 100 days ago, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that a number of broadband and telephone service providers had volunteered to take what he calls the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Over 780 companies took the pledge "in order to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances." When first announced, the pledge was to last until May 12, 2020.

Diversity Groups: FCC Rural 5G Rollout Should Focus on Poverty, Not Density

The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council -- joined by more than two dozen national organizations -- says the Federal Communications Commission should make sure that the initial tranche of its $9 billion in rural 5G subsidy funding goes to help those furthest from digital equality, which includes impoverished African American and Hispanic communities. The groups say that the FCC should prioritize funding according to poverty, not population density.

Starry Partners with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles to Expand Affordable Broadband Access

Starry, a wideband hybrid fiber wireless internet service provider, is partnering with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to expand affordable broadband access to more than 600 households in Los Angeles’ Del Rey neighborhood. The expansion, part of the Starry Connect initiative, is a specialized low-cost broadband access program that partners with owners of public and affordable housing to make high-quality, uncapped, true broadband access available to residents for only $15 per month.