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)

Louisiana releases BEAD proposal draft, digital equity plan

As states prepare to receive their allocations from the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, Louisiana is putting the finishing touches on its plan to put that money to work. The state’s broadband office released the first volume of its BEAD proposal, outlining Louisiana’s current efforts to deploy broadband, a breakdown of unserved and underserved locations as well as how it plans to tackle the challenge process.

FCC Announces the Availability of Unused Funds to Fully Satisfy Demand for Rural Health Care Program Funding for Funding Year 2023

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Office of the Managing Director, announces the amount of unused funds for the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program that has been carried forward for funding year 2023.

‘No silver bullet’: Mesa tackles digital equity from multiple sides

When scanning the Federal Communications Commission’s latest broadband maps for funding opportunities, city staff in Mesa, Arizona, struggled to find places that still needed access. Mesa’s diverse geography includes older neighborhoods that lacked modern internet services as well as new developments with high-speed fiber.

Broadband service coming to more towns, boosting New Hampshire's economy

About $115 million in federal funds will spread broadband internet to rural areas around New Hampshire in the coming years, improving people's lives and boosting the state's economy. "By the time we get done with these resources (in late 2026), we do expect to have a very significant portion of the unserved and underserved locations in the state up to speed and online," Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. Caswell participated in an announcement of $50 million in federal funding to the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative.

Mississippi BEAD director credits electric co-ops for reaching rural

The most rural parts of Mississippi are home to expansive agricultural lands with low residential density and until recent years, little incentive for broadband providers to build broadband infrastructure. Homes in the Mississippi Delta—the state’s most untenanted area—have typically used satellite service to make do, according to Sally Doty, a former state senator who was appointed as Director of the new Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi (BEAM) office in 2022. As the federal government’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) funding nears deployment, the BEAM of

The Rural Cellular Crisis

Some counties have a bigger cellular coverage problem than they do a broadband problem. There are often a much larger number of homes in a county that don’t have adequate cellular coverage than those that can’t buy broadband. I always knew that the cellular coverage maps published by the big cellular carriers were overstated; now I know that they are pure garbage. Before the pandemic, the Federal Communications Commission came up with a plan to spend $9 billion from the Universal Service Fund to build and equip new rural cellular towers—using a reverse auction method.

FCC Eases Budget Restrictions for Rural Rate-of-Return Carriers

The Federal Communications Commission temporarily waives, on its own motion, the application of the budget control mechanism for rate-of-return carriers that receive high-cost universal service support

Louisiana Draft Digital Equity Plan

This plan outlines Louisiana’s first coordinated effort to assess the state’s digital divide and move Louisiana toward digital equity.

Rural Tennessee co-op a year ahead of schedule on fiber buildout

The state of Tennessee is expected by some estimates to receive as much as $896 million through the federal government's $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.

Vermont Congressional Delegation Announces First USDA ReConnect Grant to Vermont

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Peter Welch (D-VT) and Representative Becca Balint (D-VT) announced that NEK Community Broadband (NEKCB) will receive Vermont’s first-ever United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties in Vermont.