State

The stark disparity across internet access in the US

Sacramento and Seattle are the best cities in the US when it comes to digital and internet equity, offering more widely available and affordable internet access than other major cities in the US, according to a new analysis by the non-profit United Way of the National Capital Area (NCA). Research by the Federal Communications Commission finds that 19 million Americans – approximately 6% of the country’s population – lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds.

Broadband rolls farther into the Iron Range, Minnesota

The broadband landscape across Northeastern Minnesota, and the state in general, has changed significantly since 2014, as gains made in providing access to high-speed connectivity populate communities like the Iron Range. It comes at a time when such internet connections have become critical in business, education, and often in day-to-day life.

Vermont Community Broadband Board Expands Town Match Grant for Vermont Municipalities

The Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) will match town Local Fiscal Recovery American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund contributions dedicated to broadband in an expanded town match program as part of the VCBB’s Act 71 Broadband Construction Grant Program. To be matched, the funds must be pledged to the Communications Union District (CUD) serving the town or to an eligible provider committing to build out to all underserved locations in a community if the town is not a member of a CUD.

Maryland to buy laptops for 150,000 households

Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD) said the state’s Office of Statewide Broadband will spend up to $30 million on laptops for about 150,000 households. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, which contains the broadband office, plans to partner with local governments and community groups to distribute the devices to “underserved” households, according to Gov. Hogan.

Telecommuting During COVID-19: How Does It Shape the Future Workplace and Workforce?

Telecommuting relates directly to transportation demand and pattern, congestion mitigation, and population migration, as well as to the sustainability, livability, and prosperity of communities. The objective of this research is to assess the impact of temporarily shifting the workforce to telecommuting in Greater Minnesota on workplace policy changes, employee support, and future telecommuting plans; employees’ experience of telecommuting during COVID-19 and forecast of future telecommuting; and differences among geographic areas, life circumstances, and demographic characteristics.

Illinois Seeks Public Support for Broadband Plan

Back in April, Illinois enacted legislation, the Broadband Infrastructure Advancement Act (P.A. 102-0699), that requires overarching procedures to make use of coming federal monies to support broadband deployment projects.

Wisconsin could receive up to $1.2 Billion to expand broadband coverage where service is lacking

Wisconsin government and industry stakeholders met to discuss how the state can best spend up to $1.2 billion Wisconsin may receive for expanding high-speed internet. The funding comes as around 1.3 million people in Wisconsin still can’t access or afford broadband service. Around 650,000 residents lack access to high-speed internet or speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The Wisconsin Broadband Office also estimates another 650,000 people statewide can’t afford broadband.

Leverage Libraries to Achieve Digital Equity for All

New federal programs and resources through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act  provide an unprecedented opportunity to build on the existing infrastructure and expertise of our nation’s libraries to inform state digital equity plans and accelerate broadband adoption and skills building for all nationwide. Libraries provide:

Vermont's Community-Based Broadband Solutions Get a Boost from American Rescue Plan

The Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) was established by Act 71 (2021), legislation relating to accelerated community broadband deployment, to coordinate, facilitate, support, and accelerate the development and implementation of universal community broadband solutions. The board develops policies and programs to accelerate community efforts that advance the state’s goal of achieving universal access to reliable, high-quality, affordable, fixed broadband achieving speeds of at least 100 Mbps symmetrical. On October 26, the U.S.

Municipal Broadband 2022: Barriers Remain an Issue in 17 States

For decades, municipal broadband operations have been subject to a minefield of restrictions and barriers designed to make the prospect of establishing or maintaining a community broadband network costly, difficult, and unsustainable. There are currently 17 states in total that have restrictive legislation against municipal broadband networks in the US.