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)

San Francisco receives millions to expand internet access

San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont (CA) all received a federal grant for $32 million to expand their internet access. The grant is hoping to serve people who lack fast internet service, and create more options for accessing the web. The grant comes from a program by the California Public Utilities Commission to expand broadband infrastructure across the state for underserved communities.

Cost the Primary Obstacle to Internet Access in Worcester

A new report funded by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) through Massachusetts ARPA State Fiscal Recovery Funds examines access to information technology in Worcester, and the “capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy,” which is part of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NOIA) definition of “Digital Equity.” The City of Worcester is a member of the Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program through the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI).

HUD Accepts New Communities to Participate in the ConnectHomeUSA Initiative and Bridge the Digital Divide for HUD-Assisted Families

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces 97 communities that have been selected to participate in the ConnectHomeUSA (CHUSA) initiative, bringing training and technical assistance to help communities access affordable internet access, affordable devices, and digital skills training.

More RDOF Defaults on the Horizon?

There’s been much handwringing this year over the prospect of defaults in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) program, but very little empirical analysis of the actual extent of default that has occurred to date or data-driven projections of what’s likely to occur in the future. It’s time to dig deeper to figure out what’s going on at the local level. The FCC authorized 379 companies to receive $6 billion in RDOF support over a ten-year term, covering just under 3.5 million locations in 48 states and one territory.

Broadband and Left-Behind Counties

An interesting article by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) documents an economic rebound in left-behind counties. Economists, researchers, and politicians have used the term left-behind counties to denote the parts of the country that have experienced economic stagnation or decline compared to the national average.

Updated Interim Eligible Locations List for Enhanced Alternative Connect America Model Mechanism

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced an update to the Interim Eligible Locations list for use in the Enhanced Alternative Connect America Model (Enhanced ACAM) mechanism.  Pursuant to the Enhanced A-CAM Order, the Bureau must provide a final report on the Enhanced A-CAM obligations and support amounts no later than December 31, 2025.  The Interim Eligible Locations file is intended to update to Enhanced A-CAM carriers and other stakeholders regarding the status of locations in Enhanced A-CAM service areas based on currently available data.

Changing the Way We Build Broadband

One in three Americans doesn’t have internet at speeds fast enough to use Zoom. Despite being an essential utility, building out the nation’s internet infrastructure has been largely left to market forces with highly uneven results: 40 million Americans are still waiting to be connected. Large traditional internet service providers have not and will not invest in communities where the economics don’t fit their business models.

FCC to Vote on Emergency Alert Code for Missing & Endangered Persons

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the Commission will vote during its August Open Meeting to adopt a new event code that would deliver critical messages to the public over television and radio about missing and endangered persons.

Urban and rural county leaders stress need for affordable internet

Affordable access was top of mind for elected county leaders from across the United States at a roundtable discussion hosted by Cox Communications. Carmen Moore-Zeigler, a commissioner representing District 2 in Alabama’s Montgomery County, stressed that the internet is a key factor when it comes to inspiring young people. Stan Sallee, a Tulsa County Commissioner from Oklahoma serving District 1, echoed similar sentiments.

Texas Broadband Fund Prepares to Award $730 Million for Rural Networks

The state of Texas has begun accepting applications for nearly $730 million in broadband funding. Applications are due by August 26, 2024. Applicants can request funding for any of 24 counties. Funding targets the two neediest counties in each of the state’s 12 economic regions.