Achieving Digital Equity in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands' Next Generation Network (viNGN) released the draft U.S. Virgin Islands Digital Equity Plan (USVIDEP) for public comment. Being disconnected from a connected world is not new to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

New Dems Implore House Republicans to Join Democrats in Preventing 23 Million American Households From Losing Internet Access

New Democrat Coalition Rep Angie Craig (D-MN) and Freshman Leadership Representative Nikki Budzinski (D-IL) led 95 New Democrat Coalition Members in a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) calling on House Republican Leadership to take immediate bipartisan action to fund the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Can the FCC Fund the ACP?

A lot of folks have been pleading with the Federal Communications Commission to pick up the tab to continue the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Folks are assuming that the FCC has the ability to take on the ACP program inside the Universal Service Fund.

As ACP Reality Sets in, Providers Tout Low-Cost Alternatives

As the Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program gets set to end at the end of May, at least three internet providers touted alternative low-cost offerings, including some available only to low-income households. During the ACP’s 29-month existence, numerous providers have offered a $30 service for low-income customers so that service is essentially free when the ACP discount is applied, and some of the providers plan to continue to offer the $30 services. With a few exceptions, however, service will no longer be free.

Lifeline Assistance Program to continue providing services regardless of ACP’s future

Life Wireless, the Lifeline Assistance Program’s provider for Telrite Holdings, has vowed to continue accepting applications for their Lifeline Assistance Program after the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) runs out of funding in May. Life Wireless offers free service, data usage, and smartphones to low-income Americans. Subscribers are eligible for Lifeline Assistance Program help if they receive government assistance or if their income level is at or exceeds 135 percent below the federal poverty level.

Verizon provides accessible, affordable and reliable connectivity options for those who need it most

Funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which has helped nearly 23 million households across the nation connect to the internet, is expected to end soon. However, Verizon’s commitment to keeping families connected will continue.  In 2020, the company launched Verizon Forward to help customers access affordable and reliable broadband, and the company will continue to offer the program to customers who qualify. Verizon Forward offers Verizon Home Internet (Fios, 5G Home and LTE Home) for as low as $20 per month, and is available to new and existing Verizon customers.

Millions of Americans stand to lose their subsidized home internet connection this year

When Dorothy Burrell’s lupus flares, she has days she can’t walk or get out of bed.

Op-Ed: Help close the broadband access divide by combating digital discrimination

According to the 2022 federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, "digital discrimination" involves determining who gets broadband access “based on income level, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.” As an example, some neighborhoods in cities get faster broadband speeds than those in poorer neighborhoods, creating a two-tiered effect. Nationally, the Federal Communications Commission has been empowered by Congress to handle digital discrimination complaints, which provides some remedy for those who find themselves on this new wrong side of the digital divide.

Hundreds of Groups Urge Congress to Extend Funding for Essential Broadband-Affordability Program That Serves Tens of Millions of U.S. Households

On April 15, a coalition of 271 civil-society groups and local, state and Tribal governments sent a letter to the House of Representatives that urges all members to sign a discharge petition filed by Rep Yvette Clarke (D-NY) in support of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Extension Act. By filing a discharge petition, a member of Congress can bring a bill out of committee to be voted on by the entire chamber.

All States Now Have NTIA-Approved Digital Equity Plans

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has now accepted digital equity plans from all 50 States, DC, and Puerto Rico.