Mapping the distance learning gap in California

This report examines the ability of K-12 students in California to engage in distance learning based on the availability of an internet-connected computer at home.

The coronavirus crisis shines light on educational inequalities

The pandemic has exposed inequalities as education has moved online — work that can’t be performed at home, exposing usually lower-paid adults to greater risk; lack of access to child care and quality early learning; food insecurity; and a digital divide that prevents online learning during the crisis. Schools have stepped up to provide nutritional meals, computer equipment, Internet access and cover for essential workers, but they should not bear the burden alone.

FCC Eases Lifeline Process for Unemployed Americans During Pandemic

The Federal Communications Commission made it easier for individuals who have lost their employment during the coronavirus pandemic and who qualify for Lifeline benefits to enroll in the Lifeline program. Specifically, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau temporarily waived the requirement that consumers seeking to qualify for the program based on their income must provide at least three consecutive months of income documentation. 

A new chance to close the digital divide

The “digital divide” in the accessibility of telecommunications services remains far too wide — and that current needs give urgency to closing it. A lack of sufficient Internet access is very likely keeping 12 million students from doing distance learning while their schools are closed.And the more that low-income communities are dependent on temporary grace from telecom providers, the more they have to lose when this is all over. New ideas are clearly required.

Our most vulnerable students need learning, internet now

Although the city of San Jose has neither authority nor budgetary responsibility over our 19 school districts, the city has a moral responsibility to support their critical work. Among the city’s many educational initiatives, it committed to close the digital divide in San Jose by launching the Digital Inclusion Partnership last year, to build digital skills and expand broadband access.

Stick to Principle

The principles we need to connect us were enshrined by a Republican-led Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In the legislation, overwhelmingly approved by both Republicans and Democrats, the law mandates that the Federal Communications Commission to base policies for the preservation and advancement of universal service on principles including:

What the FCC Should Do Now to Support America and Our Learners

Here are five ideas about what the Federal Communications Commission can do, right now, to keep us as a country moving forward:

Education Leaders Push for Changes to Keep Americans Connected Pledge

So far, 723 telecommunications companies large and small have signed the Federal Communications Commission's "Keep Americans Connected" pledge. But according to a growing movement, many of those same companies — and especially the largest ones — need to "remove fine print from the internet pledge." A petition which currently has 13,112 signatures is asking FCC C

Cities Deploy Rapid Digital Inclusion Efforts Amid Crisis

Angelina Panettieri, the legislative manager for information technology and communications with the National League of Cities, is involved with efforts to connect cities with each other so they can share lessons learned during the crisis, and she, too, pointed to digital inclusion as one of the more pressing matters currently facing local leadership. It’s a challenge that faces both the public and private sector as well as city hall itself — how can organizations get devices into people’s hands so they can conduct all their business online?