The Congressional Research Service is a department within the Library of Congress that has been providing timely research to the U.S. Congress that is “objective, authoritative and confidential, thereby contributing to an informed national legislature,” since 1914.
I am honored to share the news that my research on Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Broadband Adoption published by the Benton Foundation was featured in a April 6, 2020 report by the CSR, titled “State Broadband Initiatives: Selected State and Local Approaches as Potential Models for Federal Initiatives to Address the Digital Divide.”
As the report’s introduction explains,
“To further assist in closing the digital divide, states have been developing their own broadband programs and initiatives. Although many state broadband initiatives focus on building out broadband infrastructure, states have also been considering other factors. As each state approaches broadband access and deployment differently, this report analyzes selected state-level and local initiatives that have tried different approaches—approaches that may serve as models for future federal broadband initiatives. These include initiatives that address broadband mapping, broadband feasibility, digital equity and digital inclusion, gigabit broadband initiatives, and the homework gap.”
The introduction goes on to present the following options that Congress may consider in working with states to address the digital divide:
- holding hearings with state officials involved in state broadband initiatives to hear their stories, successes, and lessons learned;
- developing pilot broadband initiatives to evaluate the feasibility of different approaches;
- providing additional funding and oversight for state initiatives to help improve their sustainability; and
- finding ways to address duplicative funding while not unintentionally exacerbating the exclusion of unserved and underserved communities.
The full report is available for download on the CSR website, located here: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46307