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)

FCC Announces the Start Date for Performance Measures Testing for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, Bringing Puerto Rico Together Fund, and the Connect USVI Fund

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announces January 1, 2024 as the start date for the requirement to begin one year of pre-testing and reporting of speed and latency results for the Bringing Together Puerto Rico Fund Stage and the Connect USVI Fund Stage 2. Testing will begin on January 1, 2025. For the carriers participating in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), pre-testing will begin on January 1, 2025, and testing will begin on January 1, 2026.

Lessons from the Social Impact Evaluation of Project OVERCOME

US Ignite partnered with the National Science Foundation and Schmidt Futures to design Project OVERCOME and test creative solutions to connect the unconnected. Project OVERCOME’s design ensured careful consideration of both the technical requirements of broadband access and the community collaboration, outreach, and engagement needed to explore sustainable success. By providing free or low-cost broadband t

Maximizing new federal investments in broadband for rural America

Congress appropriated $65 billion through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to close the digital divide and ensure universal access to reliable, high-speed, and affordable broadband across the US. The cornerstone—$42.45 billion—rests with the implementation of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which entrusts execution and deployment of the resources to state governments. To maximize the opportunity that BEAD presents and to close the digital divide once and for all, we recommend the following 11 points:

FCC Issues Limited Lifeline Waiver

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau), on its own motion, grants a limited, one-time waiver to a limited number of Lifeline subscribers who received incorrect information about the deadline for recertifying their eligibility for the Lifeline program. Specifically, in letters from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), these subscribers were informed that they had approximately 80 days in which to recertify their eligibility for the Lifeline program, rather than the 60-days provided for under the Lifeline program rules.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, BEAD supercharge US digital equity efforts

Across the country, broadband advocates and representatives are crunching numbers to figure out how to implement an often under-examined piece of the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program puzzle: What does digital equity look like? Passed alongside BEAD as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Digital Equity Act (DEA) provides $2.75 billion dollars that will be parsed between states and territories to help them implement digital equity plans.

Is Charter the Largest Rural Broadband Provider?

Charter CEO Chris Winfrey said that the company is the “largest rural provider today.” Charter was the largest winner of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) reverse auction in terms of passings and is slated to bring broadband to over 1 million rural homes and businesses. The company says it is ahead of schedule and has already built 40% of those passings.

Unwinding the PSTN

The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) network has been used for interconnection to the local incumbent offices and tandem switches, for connecting to 911 centers, for connecting to operator services, for connecting to cellular carriers, or for connecting to other neighboring carriers. We are finally starting to see that network being shut down, route by route and piece by piece. But like everything related to operating in the regulated legacy world, it’s not easy to disconnect the PSTN connections called trunks.

FCC Announces Additional Funding Opportunities for Outreach Grants to Raise Nationwide Awareness of Affordable Connectivity Program

The Federal Communications Commission announced details for additional outreach grant opportunities to promote the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The outreach grants seek to enlist targeted trusted community messengers to develop innovative outreach strategies to reach historically unserved and underserved communities.

Chairwoman Rosenworcel to Recharter Communications Equity and Diversity Council

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will re-charter the Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CEDC) for another two-year term. This Council is charged with providing recommendations to ensure that underserved communities are not denied the wide range of opportunities made possible by next-generation networks without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or disability. Jamila Bess Johnson will remain the Designated Federal Officer for the Council.