Broadband is now our lifeline, but 20 million still lack access

The past month has taught us that the internet is the one indispensable tool Americans have amidst this crisis. but at least 20 million American households are currently without home access to broadband internet, primarily because they can’t afford it. These are the families on the wrong side of the digital divide, the most vulnerable people in our society. Disproportionately they are older, poorer, and sicker than the “average” American. Congress should devise a long-term solution to our continuing digital divide, once and for all.

Keeping Connected Amid Crisis

A call to Congress to allocate up to $100 billion in subsidies, rebates and tax relief targeted toward broadband that would benefit people, not just companies. The money would fund a mix of emergency aid to get and keep people connected during the coming weeks of quarantine and increased reliance on internet access, along with broadband-affordability support for the coming months and years as the economy begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Over 250 Groups Seek More Expansive Lifeline Response from FCC

Some 250 groups, from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Benton Insitute for Broadband & Society, have gotten together to tell the Federal Communications Commission it needs to take further actions to help low-income residents stay connected during the coronavirus crisis. 

There's a long war ahead and our Covid-19 response must adapt

This is a war. And in war, strategy is important. Learning from experience from around the world, we recognize a third phase of the Covid-19 response: suppression of episodic outbreaks.

Senators to FCC: No Lifeline Disconnections During Coronavirus Pandemic

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) called on the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that no eligible American is disconnected from the Lifeline assistance program during the coronavirus pandemic. Since 1985, the FCC’s Lifeline program has made basic internet and telephone service more affordable for low-income Americans.

FCC Waives Lifeline Rules to Help Keep Low-Income Consumers Connected

The Federal Communications Commission announced changes to the Lifeline program to assist program participants potentially affected by the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and aid community efforts to slow its spread. The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau waived the Lifeline program’s recertification and reverification requirements for participating low-income consumers for 60 days.

Why It’s So Important for Broadband Companies to Ditch Data Caps Right Now

As the coronavirus forces people indoors, internet usage is sure to increase for entertainment, work, and accessing information and services. For low-income households that already struggle to obtain adequate broadband access, being even more reliant on the internet may exacerbate the pre-existing challenges of living in a virtually connected society. “This situation is highlighting the digital divide and all the inadequacies of the current structures in place to provide universal broadband service,” says Olivia Wein, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

Comcast Increases Access to and Speeds of Internet Essentials to Support Americans Through Coronavirus Pandemic

As our country continues to manage the COVID-19 emergency, we recognize that our company plays an important role in helping our customers stay connected – to their families, their workplaces, their schools, and the latest information about the virus – through the Internet. We also know that for millions of low-income Americans who don’t have Internet service at home, this uncertain time is going to be even more difficult to manage. As schools and businesses close and families are encouraged, or even mandated, to stay home, Internet connectivity becomes even more important.

A First for Digital Equity and Broadband Adoption

The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing entitled Empowering and Connecting Communities Through Digital Equity and Internet Adoption.

No-Cost Broadband Program Takes Aim at Digital Divide

Even if broadband coverage isn’t the problem in a local area, the cost of high-speed Internet service may still hold back families who don’t have much money.