18 million U.S. households have access to Internet service but cannot afford to connect. This broadband affordability gap is two-thirds of America’s digital divide, and disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx communities. Our programs aim to address the key barriers that households experience when accessing federal broadband programs and low-cost Internet plans.
Our broadband program supports state and local leaders in driving adoption of free Internet within their unconnected communities. Low-cost and even fully subsidized broadband offerings tend to have low adoption rates. Significant challenges exist for households to access these services, for community institutions to make them available, and for internet providers to support their implementation.
We address these barriers by providing cities and school districts with strategic outreach support, tools and systems to track progress, and internet provider partnership expertise in order to drive high rates of adoption of broadband services for low-income households.
The first step in closing the broadband affordability gap is having data in hand that identifies which households are unconnected. Our K-12 Bridge to Broadband program leverages partnerships with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to quickly and accurately identify unconnected students and the ISPs that can serve them.
The program is built around a secure data exchange platform that produces actionable datasets and visualizations so that school district leaders can optimize their use of federal funding.