Project

Broadband Access Initiative

Sections

Broadband Access Initiative
The broadband access initiative works with state and federal policymakers, researchers, and other partners to accelerate the nation’s progress toward universal, affordable high-speed internet service.

Despite more than three decades of public and private efforts to expand the availability of broadband service, millions of Americans still lack access to reliable high-speed internet connections and millions more cannot afford connections when they are available.

The initiative seeks to solve these problems by:

  • Advocating for state and federal policy change.

  • Addressing key gaps in the research to help inform policy efforts around the country.

  • Partnering with state governments to implement evidence-based solutions for broadband expansion.

  • Educating and mobilizing stakeholders from fields such as health care, education, and workforce development to be champions for universal, affordable broadband access.

Jan Hakan Dahlstrom / Getty Images
Jan Hakan Dahlstrom / Getty Images
Fact Sheet

Federal Funding for Affordable Broadband Plans Is Critical

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Fact Sheet

Universal access to high-speed internet is achievable. But even with the federal government deploying billions of dollars to expand networks and connectivity, this goal can only be reached if all Americans can afford broadband subscriptions.

Fact Sheet

FAQ: The Affordable Connectivity Program

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Fact Sheet

The federal government and states are partnering to deploy $80 billion in infrastructure and pandemic recovery dollars to build broadband networks in unserved areas of the country. But even after the new networks—many of which are years away—are online, millions of Americans may still be unconnected because service plans are too expensive.

Cityscape verlaid with a bluish translucent network of grid lines and dots. In the distance, shadowed mountains rise beneath a colorful sunset sky.
Cityscape verlaid with a bluish translucent network of grid lines and dots. In the distance, shadowed mountains rise beneath a colorful sunset sky.
Fact Sheet

Broadband Basics: Answers to Baseline Questions

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Fact Sheet

Reliable high-speed broadband is essential to life in the U.S. today. With historic federal investments now available, states are working to expand access to high-speed internet. Broadband Basics covers network components, technologies, infrastructure, broadband policy, and barriers to access.

A purple bundle of fibre optic cables during installation under the pavement surface.
A purple bundle of fibre optic cables during installation under the pavement surface.
Issue Brief

Line Extension Programs Help Connect Unserved Residents

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Issue Brief

Over more than a decade, states have invested billions of dollars to extend broadband service to areas without high-speed internet. Those efforts have made significant impacts, reaching many large, previously unserved areas using grant programs and federal funding. But now states are increasingly grappling with how to identify and connect unserved homes and businesses that are just out of reach of nearby last-mile infrastructure—the segment of a broadband network that connects a local internet service provider (ISP) to a customer—in areas that are otherwise served.

OUR WORK

Broadband
Broadband

Key Lessons About Expanding Broadband Access

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Nationwide, at least 18 million—and perhaps more than 42 million—Americans lack access to broadband internet service, and millions more cannot afford a high-speed connection even if one is available. The significance of this access gap was thrust into the spotlight in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of people to transition to working, learning, and performing other daily activities from home. This rapid shift led educators, employers, parents, and community leaders to echo what many policymakers and their partners have argued for the past decade: that reliable high-speed internet is essential for contemporary American life and that more action is needed to bridge the digital divide.

Federal Affordable Connectivity Program

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Broadband is an essential service for American families and businesses. Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has taken aggressive action to ensure that every household not only has access to high-speed internet but also can afford it.