Low-income

Broadband and Cities

New analysis of broadband adoption in a selection of cities shows a strong relationship between low household broadband adoption levels and poverty. The analysis also shows that rising economic tides in cities has little to do with recent growth in broadband adoption – but that declines in poverty rates do.

From Networks to People

Broadband’s fundamental value doesn’t come from connecting computers to networks; its value comes from connecting people to opportunity, and society to new solutions. When a broadband network is available but a person who wants to use it can’t do so, then the network is less valuable to everyone else who does use it. That's because the he benefits of broadband adoption do not flow only to the people who are new broadband users. Expanding broadband usage can grow the U.S. economy broadly. Expanding broadband usage, furthering civic engagement, can build stronger democratic institutions.

Internet Essentials: A Record-Setting Year

In August, Comcast announced the most sweeping eligibility change in Internet Essentials' eight-year history.  Comcast is now offering Internet connections to all low-income Americans, wherever Comcast offers service.  Since the program launched in 2011, more than eight million low-income Americans have connected to the Internet at home, roughly 90 percent of whom were not connected prior to joining Internet Essentials. Comcast has invested more than $650 million in digital skills training, benefiting nearly 9.5 million people. Internet Essentials has provided 100,000 heavily discounted and

Digital Divide Closing, But Still Challenging in Kansas City

Kansas City prides itself on being a national leader for digital equity. Becoming the first Google Fiber city in 2011 launched KC into the spotlight as it became America’s first gigabit metropolis.

Under President Trump, Millions of Poor Lose Access to Cell Phones

The Federal Communications Commission began subsidizing home phone lines in 1985 to provide “the opportunities and security that phone service brings” to people who cannot afford it, according to the FCC’s website. The Lifeline program started including cellphone plans in 2005. Currently, subscribers receive $9.25 per month to put toward a discounted cellphone plan designed by provider companies. For some, that means a cap of 250 voice minutes and 2 GB of mobile data.

Building Blocks for a National Broadband Agenda

In the next decade, everyone in America should be able to use High-Performance Broadband.

Who Gets Access to Fast Broadband in Los Angeles?

As consolidation in the US residential broadband market continues, there is concern that that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are “cherry-picking” areas for upgrades to fast broadband services.  This policy brief examines this question for Los Angeles (LA) County during the 2014-17 period. In particular, it probes for evidence that ISPs are neglecting investments in low-income areas and communities of color.

Municipal Fiber Networks Power Digital Inclusion Programs

Digital inclusion is the practice of ensuring digital equity, a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy. To succeed, digital inclusion practitioners must address the many barriers to digital equity, including unaffordable broadband subscriptions, lack of access to devices, and insufficient digital skills. Communities with publicly owned networks are well-positioned to develop digital inclusion initiatives.

Limited broadband access hurts economic mobility in poorest states

Among the states that have fallen furthest behind on broadband access, a new Census Bureau report found that several also have some of the highest levels of poverty in the nation. Inequality and the lack of broadband access have become inherently intertwined in the US Without reliable high-speed internet access, it is more difficult to apply to the jobs and educational programs that can help people escape poverty.

Broadband's entrenched inequality

A recent Census Bureau report found that several of the states that have fallen furthest behind on broadband access also have some of the highest levels of poverty in the country. From the beginning, broadband access was promoted as a means to reduce inequality between urban and rural America, but despite these programs to bridge this original "digital divide," stubborn gaps remains.