Broadband

To meet class size mandate, officials look to virtual learning

To meet a new state mandate capping K-12 class sizes, New York City is considering offering remote instruction, a practice that could free up building space and allow students to take electives and AP classes from teachers on other campuses.

Efforts to reform federal broadband subsidy gain traction

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for tweaks to the Affordable Connectivity Program’s rules in a bid to keep it from sunsetting this month.

With only three weeks to go, lawmakers weigh ways to save federal internet subsidy

Congress is exploring several options to fund it. All face long odds of success despite widespread and bipartisan support for the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Don’t pull the plug on internet access for 23M families

COMMENTARY | No family should be forced to choose between one essential and another. And they don’t have to, as long as Congress acts to renew the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Federal broadband subsidy cut amid fears over its future

The Affordable Connectivity Program will pay some households just $14 in May, down from $30. Unless Congress acts on a $7 billion extension bill, it will run out of money at the end of the month, plunging some families, supporters warn, into “digital darkness.”

Connect with state & local government leaders

FCC reinstates net neutrality rules

Commissioners voted 3-2 to revive net neutrality, which supporters said would prevent the internet from being intentionally blocked or slowed down. Opponents said the effort is unnecessary and violates the law.

Initial funding for digital equity plans is available. But how do states plan to use it?

Some have identified creative solutions to address affordability, digital skills and accessibility issues. But one approach—reliance on the federal internet subsidy that is about to expire—could force some states back to the drawing board.

Key takeaways from the Explore Act, one of the largest outdoor recreation bills ever

The proposal will streamline the permitting process for outdoor recreation companies, study internet access at National Parks, identify potential long distance bike trails and paths, and support recreation and tourism economies and towns. 

Rural students’ access to Wi-Fi is in jeopardy as pandemic-era resources recede

COMMENTARY | Internet access among rural students had begun to decline in 2022, putting them at significant educational disadvantage compared with their better-connected peers. This trend is likely to accelerate with the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program.

New FCC broadband standard increases the number of ‘underserved’ households in America

An estimated 22 million Americans still lack home broadband access, according to a new report. But that number could be higher after the FCC increased the definition of what constitutes broadband.

End of internet subsidies for low-income households threatens telehealth access

Telehealth enables preventative care and keeps people out of emergency rooms, so loss of the subsidy will have real impacts on health outcomes, experts warn.

Without federal internet subsidies, state efforts to offer low-cost broadband could be impacted

The end of the Affordable Connectivity Program will not only impact the 23 million households participating, but also those who live in areas where broadband is being built out.

Congress finally approves spending budget, nearly six months late

The vote in the House and Senate averts a shutdown and brings funding certainty. But several programs significant to state and local governments will see cuts.

Spending package cuts grants to cities to help with influx of migrants

The six spending bills also fail to fund internet subsidies and security for places of worship.

23M low-income households appear set to lose internet subsides

Congressional leaders did not include funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program in its final six spending bills.

In rural Arizona, Maricopa County uses tech to make voting more secure

Providing voting access in rural areas has long been a challenge in the state, and across the country. Now, Maricopa county is hosting a big test of its efforts to improve access to the ballot in remote polling locations.

States, feds at odds over low-cost broadband option

Virginia says it’s unlawful to set a price for how much a company receiving federal broadband grants can charge low-income households. The feds disagree. They are withholding funding until the state sets a limit.

More than 17M low-income households will experience service disruptions if internet subsidy ends

Without the the Affordable Connectivity program, millions of families could lose internet access that they rely on for work, school and health care, new survey data shows.

Biden administration waives certain ‘Build America’ requirements for broadband

Even with the waiver, though, the administration estimates that roughly 90% of funding for equipment will still be used to purchase U.S.-made products.

County officials lobby for internet subsidies

The FCC is currently turning away hundreds of thousands seeking assistance. If Congress doesn’t soon approve more funding, rural and urban county officials warn, millions will be plunged into “digital darkness.”