FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks

Federal Communications Commission

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 18:00 to 19:00

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks will virtually host this roundtable to discuss the connectivity needs of students, faculty, and staff at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) during this unprecedented crisis. This event will feature special remarks from U.S. Representative Alma Adams (NC-12) & U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield (NC-01) and convene Presidents and leadership from HBCUs across the nation.

The coronavirus crisis shines light on educational inequalities

The pandemic has exposed inequalities as education has moved online — work that can’t be performed at home, exposing usually lower-paid adults to greater risk; lack of access to child care and quality early learning; food insecurity; and a digital divide that prevents online learning during the crisis. Schools have stepped up to provide nutritional meals, computer equipment, Internet access and cover for essential workers, but they should not bear the burden alone.

Libraries and Schools Are Bridging the Digital Divide During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Stay-at-home policies have made the web critical for tasks such as schoolwork, applying for unemployment benefits, and consulting with doctors. But millions of Americans lack reliable broadband access. Libraries, schools, and businesses are taking creative steps to expand Wi-Fi networks in underserved neighborhoods.

Off‐Campus Internet Connectivity Needs of K‐12 School Students and Public Library Patrons in the United States During COVID‐19 Pandemic

A report that summarizes the need to connect millions of K‐12 students to the Internet from their home because they lack adequate internet access. These students cannot attend school, submit homework, or take tests online. An estimated $7.5 billion is required to provide these students with a secure and reliable network connection and connected learning device. Funds For Learning estimates that a total of $5.25 billion in E-rate discounts would be required, and the remaining $2.29 billion would be paid by schools and libraries with funding from other sources.

Coronavirus lockdown, lack of broadband could lead to 'education breakdown'

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a lockdown of millions of people around the world, and New York, where schools have been shut down since March 16, and teachers and students have resorted to distance learning with online classes. But Larissa Rosa, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at Public School 7 Samuel Stern in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York, said at least 45 of the roughly 400 students at her school haven't logged on once.

Stick to Principle

The principles we need to connect us were enshrined by a Republican-led Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In the legislation, overwhelmingly approved by both Republicans and Democrats, the law mandates that the Federal Communications Commission to base policies for the preservation and advancement of universal service on principles including:

What the FCC Should Do Now to Support America and Our Learners

Here are five ideas about what the Federal Communications Commission can do, right now, to keep us as a country moving forward:

America’s Broadband Moment

The debate on whether broadband is a luxury or an essential connection to society is over. More than twice as many people are now using residential broadband during business hours as before the COVID-19 crisis. Over 55 million students have been impacted by school closures. The use of telehealth has skyrocketed. This, I believe, is our broadband moment: a hinge of history that will determine whether today’s residential broadband is fit for the changed world in which we inhabit or whether its limits work to disadvantage those that are not equipped to use it.

With limited internet, one mom finds a way to home-school outside the home

Home-schooling looks a little different for some families across the country, especially those who can't afford unlimited internet access. Tawana Brown of South Bend, Indiana begins each day by driving her family to a parking lot where school buses that are equipped with Wi-Fi are parked. She has been keeping up with this daily schedule after coronavirus concerns led to the closure of schools in the South Bend school district.

Why E-rate Should Fund Home Broadband During COVID-19

The lack of affordable residential broadband reflects a failure of US broadband policy. The National Broadband Plan of 2010 called for ubiquitous, affordable, high-speed broadband for all by the year 2020. Depending on which measure you use, the U.S. has fallen short by 10% to 50%. We are now suffering the consequences – residential broadband is often slow, expensive, and not universally available.