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Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks Highlights Need to Bridge Digital Divide

Tim White

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on

Screenshot of FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, captured at State of the Net 2021

January 26, 2021— “Access to the internet is the civil rights issue of the 21st century,” said Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, quoting the late Representative John Lewis, during his keynote address at the State of the Net 2021 conference on Tuesday.

Efforts to bridge the digital divide, which separates those with access to high-speed broadband from those without access, is a key area the FCC must put energy and resources towards going forward, Starks said.

Starks expressed both great expectations and excitement for the new Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The $3.2 billion program, aimed at helping low-income households gain broadband access, was part of the COVID-19 stimulus package that passed in December 2020.

Getting citizens across America better access to the internet needs good coordination between public and private sectors, Stark said, voicing hope that broadband providers will participate and work with the FCC voluntarily to bring broadband connectivity to areas that are underserved.

Starks also said that the Lifeline program, which assists eligible low-income households with phone service, needs updating to current standards and needs to reach more people. He said that, as of yet, only about 20 percent of eligible households take advantage of it.

If a family qualifies for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program they likely would benefit from the Lifeline Program as well, Starks said, adding that those who qualify should learn about the programs at the same time.

“In addition to updating Lifeline, the E-rate program also needs polishing,” Starks said. The E-rate Program, started in 1996, discounts broadband access to schools and libraries.

The year 2020 abruptly confronted the technology gaps experienced by countless Americans, Starks said, referencing how the pandemic has shifted many public practices, such as school and work, to the virtual world.

The FCC needs a better plan and better execution to meet the needs of 2021 and the future, and to connect everyone to the internet, Starks concluded.

Digital Inclusion

Federal Communications Commission Releases Proposed Rules Regarding Emergency Broadband Benefit

Derek Shumway

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on

Photo from FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel's office

January 26, 2021— “Access to the internet is the civil rights issue of the 21st century,” said Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, quoting the late Representative John Lewis, during his keynote address at the State of the Net 2021 conference on Tuesday.

Efforts to bridge the digital divide, which separates those with access to high-speed broadband from those without access, is a key area the FCC must put energy and resources towards going forward, Starks said.

Starks expressed both great expectations and excitement for the new Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The $3.2 billion program, aimed at helping low-income households gain broadband access, was part of the COVID-19 stimulus package that passed in December 2020.

Getting citizens across America better access to the internet needs good coordination between public and private sectors, Stark said, voicing hope that broadband providers will participate and work with the FCC voluntarily to bring broadband connectivity to areas that are underserved.

Starks also said that the Lifeline program, which assists eligible low-income households with phone service, needs updating to current standards and needs to reach more people. He said that, as of yet, only about 20 percent of eligible households take advantage of it.

If a family qualifies for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program they likely would benefit from the Lifeline Program as well, Starks said, adding that those who qualify should learn about the programs at the same time.

“In addition to updating Lifeline, the E-rate program also needs polishing,” Starks said. The E-rate Program, started in 1996, discounts broadband access to schools and libraries.

The year 2020 abruptly confronted the technology gaps experienced by countless Americans, Starks said, referencing how the pandemic has shifted many public practices, such as school and work, to the virtual world.

The FCC needs a better plan and better execution to meet the needs of 2021 and the future, and to connect everyone to the internet, Starks concluded.

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China

FCC February Meeting Targets 911 Fee Diversion and Replacing Foreign Telecommunications Equipment

Tim White

Published

on

January 26, 2021— “Access to the internet is the civil rights issue of the 21st century,” said Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, quoting the late Representative John Lewis, during his keynote address at the State of the Net 2021 conference on Tuesday.

Efforts to bridge the digital divide, which separates those with access to high-speed broadband from those without access, is a key area the FCC must put energy and resources towards going forward, Starks said.

Starks expressed both great expectations and excitement for the new Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The $3.2 billion program, aimed at helping low-income households gain broadband access, was part of the COVID-19 stimulus package that passed in December 2020.

Getting citizens across America better access to the internet needs good coordination between public and private sectors, Stark said, voicing hope that broadband providers will participate and work with the FCC voluntarily to bring broadband connectivity to areas that are underserved.

Starks also said that the Lifeline program, which assists eligible low-income households with phone service, needs updating to current standards and needs to reach more people. He said that, as of yet, only about 20 percent of eligible households take advantage of it.

If a family qualifies for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program they likely would benefit from the Lifeline Program as well, Starks said, adding that those who qualify should learn about the programs at the same time.

“In addition to updating Lifeline, the E-rate program also needs polishing,” Starks said. The E-rate Program, started in 1996, discounts broadband access to schools and libraries.

The year 2020 abruptly confronted the technology gaps experienced by countless Americans, Starks said, referencing how the pandemic has shifted many public practices, such as school and work, to the virtual world.

The FCC needs a better plan and better execution to meet the needs of 2021 and the future, and to connect everyone to the internet, Starks concluded.

Continue Reading

FCC

Commissioner Brendan Carr Says Broadband Needs Policy Agenda Free From Political Interference

Derek Shumway

Published

on

Photo of Rep. Bob Latta from his website

January 26, 2021— “Access to the internet is the civil rights issue of the 21st century,” said Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, quoting the late Representative John Lewis, during his keynote address at the State of the Net 2021 conference on Tuesday.

Efforts to bridge the digital divide, which separates those with access to high-speed broadband from those without access, is a key area the FCC must put energy and resources towards going forward, Starks said.

Starks expressed both great expectations and excitement for the new Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The $3.2 billion program, aimed at helping low-income households gain broadband access, was part of the COVID-19 stimulus package that passed in December 2020.

Getting citizens across America better access to the internet needs good coordination between public and private sectors, Stark said, voicing hope that broadband providers will participate and work with the FCC voluntarily to bring broadband connectivity to areas that are underserved.

Starks also said that the Lifeline program, which assists eligible low-income households with phone service, needs updating to current standards and needs to reach more people. He said that, as of yet, only about 20 percent of eligible households take advantage of it.

If a family qualifies for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program they likely would benefit from the Lifeline Program as well, Starks said, adding that those who qualify should learn about the programs at the same time.

“In addition to updating Lifeline, the E-rate program also needs polishing,” Starks said. The E-rate Program, started in 1996, discounts broadband access to schools and libraries.

The year 2020 abruptly confronted the technology gaps experienced by countless Americans, Starks said, referencing how the pandemic has shifted many public practices, such as school and work, to the virtual world.

The FCC needs a better plan and better execution to meet the needs of 2021 and the future, and to connect everyone to the internet, Starks concluded.

Continue Reading

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