USDA Reviewing Applications From 41 States to Expand Rural Broadband in Second Round of ReConnect Pilot Program

The following was a stakeholder announcement issued by the USDA on April 22, 2020 WASHINGTON, April 22, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary Bette Brand today announced that USDA has received 172 applications requesting $1.57 billion in the second round of the ReConnect Pilot Program. The applications seek funding to provide or upgrade rural broadband serviceacross 41 …

COVID-19 Response Plans for Connecting More Residents, Businesses at the State and Community Level

Bowling Green, Ky. (April 21, 2020) – Connected Nation (CN) is providing a new resource for state and community leaders that will help them identify immediate and simple solutions for connecting more residents and businesses during COVID-19 quarantines. “When local and state leaders began to implement shut down and ‘social distancing’ orders now nearly a month ago, we responded by …

Resources and Solutions to Providing Connectivity for Those Stuck in the Digital Divide

Virtual (April 8, 2020) – Coronavirus has changed how Americans work and learn—but for millions of families and individuals, that change means being unable to access the critical resources they desperately need. Connected Nation (CN) is a national nonprofit based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that has advocated for improving access to broadband (high-speed internet) for nearly two decades—and it has …

Policy Brief: FCC Extends E-Rate Deadlines Due to COVID-19

Washington, DC (April 2, 2020) – Yesterday, the FCC voted to adopt an Order extending E-Rate Program deadlines in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on schools and libraries across the country. The FCC stated that “to provide relief to E-Rate program participants affected by this unprecedented national pandemic, we temporarily waive and extend several E-Rate filing and …

Digital Divide: Coronavirus Crisis Highlights Texans’ Lack of High-Speed Internet Access

The following was published by Spectrum News on April 1, 2020 by Karina Kling  Click here to watch the interview AUSTIN, Texas — The coronavirus has forced Texans online for education, work, entertainment, even communicating with friends and family right now. But one-third of the state does not subscribe to high-speed internet in their homes. The digital divide is particularly …

Analysis: A digital divide with dire consequences for Texas

The following was published in the Texas Tribune on April 1, 2020 by Ross Ramsey  The new coronavirus has forced Texans online for education, commerce, work and entertainment. But a third of the state’s residents don’t have broadband in their homes. When Anderson County told residents not to assemble in groups with more than 10 people, officials got some pushback from churches. …

Connecting America during the Coronavirus: Stimulus Bill Provides Some Funding to Expand Access

Washington, DC (March 26, 2020) – The Senate unanimously passed late last night a $2 trillion stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The House is set to vote on the bill Friday, March 27. This historic legislation provides funding for individuals, couples, and families. It also provides some relief for those who are working and learning from home …

Policy Brief: Congress Passes Broadband DATA Act

Washington, DC (March 20, 2020) – On March 10, 2020, Congress passed the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act, which set the stage for a sweeping reform on how broadband data is collected, verified, and mapped by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and builds upon the Digital Opportunity Data Collection (DODC) report and order that the FCC adopted in August …

FCC Acts to Support Telehealth & Remote Learning During Coronavirus

The following is a press release issued by the FCC on March 18, 2020  WASHINGTON (March 18, 2020)—The Federal Communications Commission today announced important changes to the Rural Health Care (RHC) and E-Rate programs that will make it easier for broadband providers to support telehealth and remote learning efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.  Specifically, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has …

Internet 101: Free Training Resources Offered by Connected Nation

Bowling Green, Ky. (March 17, 2020) – The White House and public health officials announced today changes to telehealth initiatives and recommendations in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Those changes include expanding Medicare immediately to cover telemedicine. Officials suggested patients call their doctor’s offices if they had questions about telehealth services offered by their physicians. The White House also …