ABSTRACT

Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs [Updated October 25, 2019]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "The 'digital divide' is a term that has been used to characterize a gap between those Americans who have access to telecommunications and information technologies and those who do not. One important subset of the digital divide debate concerns access to high-speed internet, also known as broadband. Broadband is provided by a series of technologies (e.g., cable, telephone wire, fiber, satellite, and mobile and fixed wireless) that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds that support a number of applications including voice communications, entertainment, telemedicine, distance education, telework, ecommerce, civic engagement, public safety, and energy conservation. Broadband technologies are currently being deployed, primarily by the private sector, throughout the United States. While the number of new broadband subscribers continues to grow, studies and data indicate that the rate of broadband deployment in urban/suburban and high-income areas is outpacing deployment in rural and low-income areas. Some policymakers, believing that disparities in broadband access across American society could have adverse economic and social consequences on those left behind, assert that the federal government should play a more active role to address the 'digital divide' in broadband access."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30719
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2019-10-25
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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