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)

Maine Draft State Broadband Action Plan Focuses On Closing Affordability Gap

Maine became one of the first states to share a draft broadband action plan and companion Digital Equity Plan. The plan highlights the complex challenges faced by Maine residents who lack internet access, including limited opportunities for remote work, education, and healthcare, emphasizing the importance of bridging the digital divide to ensure that all residents can participate in the digital economy.

The FCC’s 12 GHz Decision

One of the hardest things that the Federal Communications Commission does is to decide spectrum policy. The agency has full authority to determine the details of how we use each slice of available spectrum. Most importantly, the agency can determine who can use spectrum – and that’s why the task is challenging. In the last decade, it’s hard to think of any spectrum deliberation and decision that didn’t have to weigh the interests of multiple spectrum users. There is almost always somebody using spectrum that must be considered.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel's Response to Members of Congress Regarding the Alternative Connect America

In May 2023, about three dozen Members of the House of Representatives wrote to the Federal Communications Commission urging the FCC to complete work on updating  Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM) and Connect America Fund-Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS), two universal service mechanisms that have been and remain critical to delivery of broadband in rural America. On June 20, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel replied to the letter noting that she had circulated a Report and Order for her colleagues’ consideration that would create the Enhanced A-CAM program.


Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Wed, 07/19/2023 - 13:00

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Senior Fellow John Horrigan and Elena Saltzman, Director of Campaigns, Civic Nation, will participate in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the Affordable Connectivity Program Enrollment Performance Tool and how to best focus ACP outreach and enrollment efforts in your community.

FCC Announces Conditional Forbearance from Lifeline Voice Obligation

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau announced the counties in which conditional forbearance from the obligation to offer Lifeline-supported voice service applies, pursuant to the Commission’s 2016 Lifeline Order. This forbearance applies only to the Lifeline voice obligation of eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that are designated for purposes of receiving both high-cost and Lifeline support (high-cost/Lifeline ETCs), and not to Lifeline-only ETCs.

President Biden mocks Senator Tuberville for touting broadband funding he voted against

President Joe Biden gently mocked Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) for touting $1.4 billion in federal funding his home state is set to receive for expanded broadband internet access despite voting against it in 2021. “See you at the groundbreaking,” President Biden wrote along with a retweet of Sen.

Achieving Digital Independence in Utah

Utah continues working to close the state's digital divide. On June 20, 2023, the Utah Broadband Center released its draft State Digital Equity Plan in conjunction with its Digital Connectivity Plan. Both plans will help guide the allocation of federal funding to the state for broadband access and adoption expansion over the next five years. Here, we take a look at Utah's digital equity plan.

Spectrum Launches Gigabit Broadband, Mobile, TV and Voice Services in Newberry County, South Carolina

Spectrum announced the launch of Spectrum Internet, Mobile, TV and Voice services to more than 300 homes and small businesses in Newberry County, South Carolina. Spectrum’s newly constructed fiber-optic network buildout in Newberry County is part of the company’s approximately $5 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF)-related investment in unserved rural communities, which includes $1 billion won in the Federal Communications Commission’s RDOF auction.

The broadband funding will go 2:1 to Republicans

Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) generated snickers and some jeers when he tweeted his excitement about the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funding for Alabama. Even Twitter thought it necessary to add the context that Sen Tuberville voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that is providing this funding.

NTCA CEO Bloomfield Sees “Rural Renaissance”

America is in the midst of a “rural renaissance,” thanks to unprecedented investment in broadband, said Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association. Every dollar invested in broadband yields four dollars in benefits, said Kathryn de Wit, project director for the Broadband Access Initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts which has been closely following state broadband initiatives for several years and was instrumental in reshaping federal po