Marginalized Populations

Marginalized populations are those excluded from mainstream social, economic, educational, and/or cultural life. Examples of marginalized populations include, but are not limited to, groups excluded due to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, language, and/or immigration status.

(August 19, 2022)

Understanding and Driving Enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program

Fitting the monthly cost of a broadband subscription into a low-income household budget is difficult, to say the least, because of the costs of competing necessities like lodging, food, and healthcare. These financial pressures—and unexpected expenses—keep too many people in the U.S. from subscribing to home broadband service—or cause them to drop service at times to make ends meet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress recognized these obstacles for low-income people and created a program—first called the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program—to reduce the monthly costs of connectivity.

It’s No Time to Disarm in the War Against the Digital Divide

The pandemic spurred policymakers and community leaders around the country to create programs to connect those without home broadband service or computers. These programs have had an impact. New government data show sharp increases in broadband and computer adoption in the 2019-to-2021 time frame. Initiatives such as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) have helped address “subscription vulnerability” for low-income households. With progress evident, it is time to extend and build on the ACP and local affordability programs.

What's wrong with LA's internet?

Over the last two years, in California and across the country, billions of public dollars have been allocated to end the digital divide. The Digital Equity LA coalition, supported by the California Community Foundation (CCF) Digital Equity Initiative, has mobilized to ensure these investments are directed to the communities that need them most—those that have been historically marginalized and are disproportionately disconnected—and deployed in support of the most effective long-term solutions.

New York City Mayor Adams Highlights Broadband in State of the City Address

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today outlined a “Working People’s Agenda” in his second State of the City address, delivered at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Mayor Adams’ agenda is built on four pillars that are essential to building a city that meets the needs of working New Yorkers and represents the focus of his administration’s work in 2023: jobs, safety, housing, and care. Under the Working People’s Agenda, the Adams administration will also:

How the Martha Wright-Reed Act Moves Us Closer to Just and Reasonable Communications

For many incarcerated people in the United States, exorbitant phone rates and fees make it consistently difficult to keep in touch with loved ones, lawyers, and others outside of prison. The Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022—signed by President Joe Biden on January 5, 2023—will ensure just and reasonable charges for telephone and advanced communications services in correctional and detention facilities across the country.

FCC Improving Support for Digital Health in Rural America

The Federal Communications Commission approved several proposals for the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program to make it easier for healthcare providers to receive support, reduce delays in funding commitments, and improve the program's overall efficiency. Reliable high-speed connectivity is critical for rural healthcare providers to serve patients in rural areas that often have limited resources, fewer doctors, and higher rates for broadband and telecommunications services than urban areas.

Closing the Digital Divide Requires More Than a Quick Fix

In the summer of 2023, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will begin distributing hundreds of millions, and in some cases billions, of funding to states as part of the $42 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. Expectedly, states are busy creating and staffing broadband offices in anticipation of the BEAD and digital equity monies. Blinded by a nationwide broadband fever, however, some broadband leaders have proclaimed that states will entirely close, bridge, or eliminate the digital divide in the coming years.

Comparing broadband access to adoption in urban, suburban, and rural America

New Federal Communications Commission maps that measure broadband access, and new American Community Survey data that measure adoption, show that only 64.4% of rural American households have access to broadband at 100/20 throughput. Most, 58.8%, subscribe to broadband, a gap of less than 6 percentage points. Even with new FCC maps, 98.5% of urban households have access to broadband, but only 73% subscribe.

FCC Asks Consumers to Share Their Broadband Access Experiences

The Federal Communication Commission's Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination is offering consumers an opportunity to share their stories and experiences in obtaining broadband internet access.

117TH Congress Accomplishments: Broadband

As Chair of the committee tasked with overseeing the historic $65 billion investment in broadband under the Infrastructure and Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) is working to ensure funding goes to communities that need it most. Through a broad array of broadband initiatives, our Committee Democrats believe we can expand economic opportunity and access to education, healthcare, telehealth, and e-commerce, regardless of where people live. Sen.