Pew’s Broadband Access Initiative Aims to Achieve Universal High-Speed Internet Connectivity

Program uses advocacy, research, and technical support to advance strategies to boost availability, affordability

Navigate to:

Pew’s Broadband Access Initiative Aims to Achieve Universal High-Speed Internet Connectivity
Main street of small town, with historical architecture and store-front buildings.
Getty Images


The Pew Charitable Trusts’ broadband access initiative works with state and federal lawmakers, researchers, and other partners to accelerate the nation’s progress to universal, affordable high-speed internet service.

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

The broadband access initiative works to solve these problems by:

  • Advocating for state and federal policy change.
  • Addressing key research gaps.
  • Partnering with state governments to implement evidence-based solutions for broadband expansion.
  • Equipping stakeholders with the information and resources they need to support universal access.

Key strategies

The broadband access initiative has conducted extensive research indicating that although no single policy will achieve universal access, several common strategies have been successful at expanding broadband. These strategies include:

  • Raising minimum speeds and prioritizing technologies that can be scaled to reach those elevated standards to help ensure that networks built today will still be useful years into the future.
  • Ensuring long-term funding to help communities and providers confidently plan for network expansion and address costs for future technology upgrades.
  • Improving accountability and oversight of public funds to guarantee that projects achieve their intended purpose and that taxpayers receive the connections they were promised.
  • Addressing affordability of connections, including by examining the full costs of broadband deployment and operations; how those costs vary by market; and the range of interventions that can effectively and sustainably deliver affordable connections for all.
  • Defining a role for each level of government because universal access cannot be achieved by any single policy or unit of government and instead will require local, state, and federal coordination.

Contact us

To reach Pew’s broadband access initiative or to learn more about the program’s research, please contact Kathryn de Wit at [email protected].


How States Are Expanding Broadband Access

Quick View

Broadband is increasingly intertwined with the daily functions of modern life. It is transforming agriculture, supporting economic development initiatives, and is a critical piece of efforts to improve health care and modernize transportation. But the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that 21 million Americans still lack broadband access.

State Broadband Policy Explorer
State Broadband Policy Explorer
Data Visualization

State Broadband Policy Explorer

Quick View
Data Visualization

Pew’s broadband research initiative reviewed state statutes, executive orders, and other governing directives for “broadband” and related terms (e.g., “high-speed internet”). This tool also includes information on state broadband programs gathered from state websites. All information was provided to states for review and verification.

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.