Universal Broadband

Mapping The Urban-Rural Digital Divide In Georgia

At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we create maps analyzing publicly available data to show disparities in access and highlight possible solutions. We've recently taken an in-depth look at Georgia and want to share our findings with two revealing maps. According to the Federal Communications Commission's 2018 Broadband Deployment Report, 29.1 percent of the state's rural population lacks broadband access, but only 3 percent of the urban population shares the same problem. Cooperatives and small municipal networks are making a difference in several of these rural communities.

The FCC’s 2018 Broadband Report: How Do You Politicize a Statistical Report?

[Commentary] Until recently, the Federal Communications Commission dutifully provided statistics, perhaps framed in ways to support a policy objective. But until now, not one statistical report included a partisan jab. Despite lots of blabber about empiricism and humility, someone thought it fair and balanced to couple regularly-reported statistics with an unsupported assertion that the 2015 Open Internet Order singularly caused a decline in the pace of increased subscribership and network performance during the last two bummer Obama years.  In a statistical report, mandated by law, the FCC

Simmons College, Open Technology Institute, Internet2 Awarded Grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services

Simmons College’s School of Library & Information Science, along with New America's Open Technology Institute and Internet2, have received an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) FY2018 National Leadership Grants for Libraries award. Their 24-month research project, “Measuring Library Broadband Networks for the National Digital Platform” will examine how advanced broadband measurement capabilities can support the infrastructure and services needed to respond to the digital demands of public library users across the US. The project will gather quantitative and qualitative data

NYC blasts broadband competition shortage as it pursues suit against Verizon

More than two-thirds of New York City's 3.1 million households have just one or two broadband providers offering service to their homes, according to a new "Truth in Broadband" report issued by the city government. The report comes as NYC pursues a lawsuit against Verizon alleging that it hasn't met its broadband deployment obligations.

Chairman Pai Remarks at Farm Foundation/USDA Summit

[Speech] It’s no secret that I’m a native of small-town Kansas. I know how great it is to grow up in rural America. And I want future generations to be able to have that same experience—to see small towns as a place where they can start a family and build a career. This isn’t just nostalgia. It’s about our economy and national competitiveness. In a connected global economy, we can’t leave millions of Americans sitting on the sidelines. Some say we can’t afford to bring high-speed connectivity to places like rural Kansas. I say we can’t afford not to.

2018 Charles Benton Digital Equity Award

If there’s anything that coming to a gathering like Net Inclusion really brings home, it is that addressing inequity is the responsibility of everyone in the community. None of us can solve a problem like digital inclusion working on our own. It takes collaboration; a web of dedicated advocates from all over the country working on all aspects of the issue. So, I am thrilled that the third annual Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award honors one of our field’s great collaborators, Deb Socia. Deb is the Founding Executive Director of Next Century Cities.

FCC Delays are Keeping Broadband from Rural School Kids

Under the Trump administration, rural schools requesting funding for broadband expansion have faced record delays and denials, according to the non-profit EducationSuperHighway, which works to get schools connected to the internet. By their count, more than 60 eligible fiber projects have been unfairly denied since 2017, a rate that EducationSuperHighway CEO Evan Marwell says has spiked dramatically from years prior. Meanwhile, more than 30 schools have been waiting about a year for approval. On average, they currently wait an average of 240 days for an answer.

Remarks of Assistant Secretary Redl at the Federalist Society Executive Branch Review Conference

[Speech] We’re working to ensure that the Internet is open, secure and providing the maximum benefits to the American people. But this administration also understands that we must connect all Americans to truly unlock the promise of the Internet. There are still too many people across the country that lack access to reliable, affordable broadband Internet service – a problem that’s particularly acute in rural America.

What It's Like to Live in America Without Broadband Internet

More than 24 million Americans, or about 8 percent of the country, who don’t have access to high-speed internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission—and that’s a conservative estimate. Most of them live in rural and tribal areas, though the problem affects urban communities, too. In every single state, a portion of the population doesn’t have access to broadband. The reasons these communities have been left behind are as diverse as the areas themselves.

Stuck in the ‘dial-up’ age

Steve McCloud’s farm is in a black hole on the Kansas prairie. On the map, the Harvey County farm is connected to the superhighway of information that has become a necessity in today’s society. But travel down the dirt road to his farmstead just 4 miles north of Newton and a different reality emerges. The McClouds have slow and somewhat sporadic access to the World Wide Web. A mile to the north Moundridge Communications is running new fiber. But the small-town telephone company can’t help him because he is not in its territory.