The FCC’s newest commissioner, Geoffrey Starks, invited NDIA to participate in one of his first stakeholder meetings. . All of the public interest organizations represented in the meeting jointly filed an ex parte of brief notes from the full discussion. The Ex Parte was filed with the FCC.
With a three-minute time slot, I made the following remarks to FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks on February 7, 2019:
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance is a unified voice for affordable home broadband access, public broadband access, affordable device options and community technology training support programs. We currently count 350 affiliates in 41 states. Our affiliates are community-based organizations, libraries, housing authorities and local governments.
NDIA formed four years ago because we realized policy makers had little idea that local digital inclusion programs existed. Lifeline was being modernized and the experience and expertise of local digital inclusion programs needed to inform the policy change.
The Census tells us the lower a household’s income, the less likely that household is to have a wireline broadband service (rural or urban). Cost of a home internet subscription in the U.S. is expensive. This is not an urban vs rural issue. This is an urban, suburban AND rural issue.
NDIA recommends the FCC gather cost data for residential internet service subscriptions. This national data is not publicly available through any source. The data is needed to inform local and national strategies working to increase broadband adoption and support allocation of resources.
We welcome the Commissioner to visit digital inclusion practitioners. We are happy to help arrange those visits.