Digital Divide

?Connectivity is a path to greater opportunity,? the initiative?s announcement read. ?In today?s world, broadband and fluency with technology fuel economic growth, provide access to the world?s knowledge, promote skill development, and build stronger and more connected communities.?
We?re almost there! The FCC this week released a draft order to update the Lifeline program to include broadband.
Most low- and moderate-income families have some form of Internet connection, but many are under-connected, with mobile-only access and inconsistent connectivity.
Nearly 40 public interest groups sent a letter to the moderators of the four upcoming presidential debates urging them to ask candidates about access to high-speed Internet.
Are state regulators beginning to hold Verizon responsible for its neglect? We hope so ? it?s about time.
?The FCC has a responsibility to help low-income households overcome the economic barriers to modern telecommunications services to promote the full social and economic participation of all Americans,? President Shelton wrote in the letter.
?In order to fulfill its purpose of meeting the changing needs of low-income Americans, the FCC should update the program to reflect the increasing importance of the Internet,? the letter says.
The report found that there continues to be a significant urban-rural digital divide. While only four percent of urban Americans lack access to broadband with 25/3 Mbps speeds, 39 percent of Americans living in rural areas lack broadband access. In rural Tribal Lands, the statistic is even worse: 68 percent of residents lack access.
The company sees new opportunities to bundle broadband with video service now that AT&T has integrated DirecTV.
Updating Lifeline to include high-speed Internet is an important step toward fulfilling the FCC's century-old commitment to universal communications access.