States are Relying on the Federal Affordable Connectivity Program to Close the Digital Divide

With the common aim of ensuring that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy, each of the 50 states is currently drafting a digital equity plan through what one official called “the largest demonstration of participatory democracy that our country has ever seen." The states are tasked with developing long-term objectives for closing the digital divide by addressing the needs of eight "covered populations"—incl

Visions of Digital Equity Principles

Digital equity—or, digital opportunity, if you prefer—is having a moment. The US is making an unprecedented investment to ensure that individuals and communities have the capacity to fully participate in our society and economy. This is a huge undertaking with momentous implications on the future of the Nation. Each state has been asked to envision how life there can be transformed by achieving digital equity.

NTIA Announces State Allocations for $42.45 Billion BEAD Program

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has allocated funding to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories to deploy affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service to everyone in America. States, Washington (DC), and territories will use funding from the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to administer grant programs within their borders.

What Digital Equity Means for Rural Alaska

Dleł Taaneets is the traditional name of my hometown of Rampart; it means “the hanging moose hide,” which the bluffs near our village mimic in color. My ancestors survived on these lands by following the lifeways of the season: spruce tips and birds in spring, salmon and plants in the summer, berries and moose in winter, trapping in the winter. Living off the lands of Alaska is unforgiving due to extreme weather, but my lineage endured and thrived by maintaining respect for one another, having gratitude to the animals and plants, and honoring the gorgeous lands that sustained them.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Utah to Receive Nearly $1 Billion in American Rescue Plan Funds to Increase Access to Affordable, High-Speed Internet

The Department of Treasury approved broadband projects in an additional six states under the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Utah. Together, these states will use their funding to connect more than 180,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet.

Broadband Mapping By and For Communities

On Monday, September 26, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Director of Research and Fellowships Dr. Revati Prasad hosted an online panel discussion, From the Ground Up: Broadband Mapping By and for Communities, on how communities and states are collecting data on local broadband availability as the Federal Communications Commission rolls out the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) program.

Oregon’s Broadband Assistance Program Announces Intent to Award

The Oregon Broadband Office is pleased to announce the awardees of the Broadband Technical Assistance Program (BTAP) grants of up to $150,000 per county which can be used for eligible broadband planning and pre-construction activities, staffing, and grant application support.

Mapping Broadband: What Does It Mean for Service to Be “Available”?

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has now given 48 states the green light to start their required Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program challenge process to refine the list of locations that will be eligible for BEAD funding. The starting point for the states is the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Map, based on its Broadband Data Collection (BDC), with the state-run challenge process providing stakeholders the opportunity to make updates and corrections.

Mississippi Addresses Allegations of Inequitable Outreach in BEAD

The Mississippi broadband office is responding to allegations raised by a legal organization that claims the state is failing to conduct equitable local coordination and outreach with underrepresented communities in preparation of allocating $1.2 billion to expand broadband infrastructure.

All States Now Have NTIA-Approved Digital Equity Plans

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has now accepted digital equity plans from all 50 States, DC, and Puerto Rico.