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)

Kansas To Give Nearly $16M to Expand Broadband in Rural Kansas

Governor Laura Kelly (D-KS) will award $15.7 million to seven service providers that will bring high-speed broadband service to underserved, economically distressed, and low-population areas of the state. This is the first of three rounds of awards from the Kansas Capital Project Funds (CPF) Broadband Grant Program. This phase of funding will connect more than 1,900 homes, businesses, schools, healthcare facilities, and other public institutions to fast, reliable internet in the next 24 months. This funding aims to solve the “last mile” of broadband needed in critical areas.

Fiber, not satellites, is the way to go in BEAD program

We believe the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program provides the best possible chance to bring robust, reliable all-fiber broadband service to the many millions of unserved and underserved locations throughout the country. That said, we understand that National Telecommunications and Information Administration may be considering permitting States and Territories to award grants to applicants using other, less capable transmission technologies where the costs to deploy networks can be extremely high.

Biden Administration To Give More Than $2.9 Million in Internet for All Grant to Long Beach City College

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded Long Beach City College, a Hispanic Serving Institution in California, $2,999,978 as part of the Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program.  Long Beach City College (LBCC)'s Student Technology and Resources (STAR) program will address equity gaps created by historically marginalized students' lack of access to internet broadband and technology.

Biden Administration To Give More Than $2.9 Million in Internet for All Grant to Albany State University

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded Albany State University (ASU), a Historically Black College and University in Georgia, $2,997,777 as part of the Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program. ASU Global is the university’s fully online college. It exists to create and offer degree and certificate programs in a fully online format that can be completed at a distance.

NTIA's Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives Identifies Barriers, Helps Close the Digital Divide

This report, mandated by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, details the work of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives (OMBI) in expanding access and identifying barriers to high-speed internet service for students, faculty, and staff at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) and within anchor communities. Examples of OMBI’s key 2021-2022 accomplishments highlighted in the report include:

How to Make Broadband a Priority in Affordable Rental Housing Development

Many residents of affordable rental housing nationwide continue to lack access to broadband in their homes, but effective use of a long-standing federal tax credit can help close the gap in those housing units not funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Recognizing the critical importance of high-speed internet access, a HUD rule effective since 2017 requires that broadband infrastructure be installed in new and rehabilitated federally assisted multifamily housing.

New Maryland county grant tackles the ‘long driveway’ broadband gap

Of the numerous challenges that confront broadband expansion in rural areas, long driveways stand as an additional challenge. However, Charles County in Maryland is leading the charge to tackle the issue head-on. The county’s work started several years ago when it established a Rural Broadband Taskforce aimed at closing the connectivity gap there. In 2019, the task force hired a consultant to help it develop a Broadband Strategic Plan, which was subsequently approved in early 2020.

Pioneer Connect Receives Reconnect3 Grant to Provide Rural High-Speed Internet to Over 1,500 Underserved Homes

After a highly competitive process, Pioneer Connect of Philomath (OR) has been awarded $24,952,007 from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the 3rd round of funding for the ReConnect program. This ReConnect 3 grant will bring Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) to 1,528 locations in Benton, Lincoln, and Polk counties. The cooperative will install 296 miles of fiber to provide increased speeds and enhanced reliability, eliminating many challenges faced by members of these communities. This grant will be combined with an $8,317,336 loan bringing the total project to $33,269,343.

Speeding Up Fiber Construction

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the speed of constructing infrastructure. The White House announced an initiative to address some of these issues to speed up the construction of the $550 billion in infrastructure that was funded with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, along with earlier money from the American Rescue Plan Act.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Rural Broadband

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), a Federal Communications Commission plan to spend over $20 billion to close the digital divide, drew interest from startups and household-name carriers alike. But several upstart winners have dropped off the winner's list because of financial problems or the inability to supply high-speed Internet access. Top 10 bidder Starry said that it is withdrawing from the RDOF program, under which it had been awarded nearly $270 million in funds to cover 108,506 locations in 9 states.