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)

Texas eyes creation of $5 Billion Broadband Infrastructure Fund

New legislation introduced in the Texas House of Representatives could give voters in the state a chance to decide whether or not to throw $5 billion behind efforts to improve broadband there. The bill, known as H.B. 9, calls for the creation of a state Broadband Infrastructure Fund and would give the Texas comptroller and Public Utility Commission power to allocate the money for specific uses.

It is Past Time To End Digital Discrimination—No More Excuses

Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission to pass rules designed to end digital discrimination. The directive could not be more clear: Enact regulations to “eliminate” existing digital discrimination on the basis of “income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin” and to prevent it from recurring in the future.

Charter Rural Strategy Extends Beyond Government Funded Areas to “Perpetuity Growth”

The government funding that Charter has received for rural broadband deployments generates revenue opportunities for the company beyond the funded areas, said Charter CEO Chris Winfrey. He noted that while the company has cited rural internal rates of return (IRR) in the mid- to high teens, “what’s not included in that return is a bunch of other opportunities.” He added that “Now you have the option to extend your footprint even further with new passings” and referred to this phenomenon as “a machine of continuous return.” He noted, for example, that Charter made service available to 145,00

UScellular demos 5G fixed wireless access in Alleman, Iowa — population 423

UScellular brought its 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) technology to North Polk High School in Alleman, Iowa, to show state government officials how it can connect homes, businesses, and classrooms – with the added benefit of mobility. The location was selected to represent the typical characteristics of any small town in rural America. Alleman has a population of 423 people. The wireless operator was joined by technology leaders at Ericsson, Qualcomm, and the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA).

Will Cellular Companies Pursue BEAD Grants?

Several people have asked me recently if cellular companies will be pursuing Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grants. Until recently, cellular companies didn’t have a product that would have qualified for broadband grants. BEAD and other grants are awarded to internet service providers (ISP) that serve homes and businesses, not cell phones.

Enrollment Hurdles Limit Uptake for FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides the primary subsidy available to cover broadband subscription costs for low-income households, but only 1 in 4 eligible households have enrolled in the ACP since it launched in 2021.

Digital healthcare equity in primary care: implementing an integrated digital health navigator

The 21st Century Cures Act and the rise of telemedicine led to a renewed focus on patient portals. However, portal use disparities persist and are in part driven by limited digital literacy. To address digital disparities in primary care, we implemented an integrated digital health navigator program supporting portal use among patients with type II diabetes. During our pilot, we were able to enroll 121 (30.9%) patients in the portal.

Commissioner Simington Addresses WISPAMERICA 2023

While I think that fixed wireless technology can efficiently serve all communities, this is especially true for rural communities, because fixed wireless is high-speed, reliable, and perhaps most importantly, can be deployed quickly. Rural America needs access to high-speed and reliable technologies today, not years from now, in order to remain competitive in our nation’s economy.

The Affordable Connectivity Program: Time Is of the Essence for Congress to Act

Congress should extend the worthwhile Affordability Connectivity Program (ACP) promptly by appropriating additional funding. At the same time, it can consider revising the program to better target the ACP benefit to those lower-income households most truly in need and adopting measures to minimize, to the extent possible, any waste, fraud, and abuse in the program. The ACP represents one-half of the federal government's push to make it possible for every American to access a high-speed Internet connection.

Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority Seeking Public Input on Community Engagement Efforts

Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority Executive Director Brandon Carson is asking Pennsylvanians to provide input on the stakeholder engagement process for developing two plans: the State Digital Equity Plan and the Commonwealth’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Five-Year Action Plan. The two-week public comment period began on February 27 and ends Friday, March 10, 2023. The State Digital Equity Stakeholder Engagement Plan will focus on engaging eight primary populations required through federal guidance – aging individuals, incarcerated individuals, veterans, indivi