FCC Announce Plans to Increase Broadband Internet Access in US

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Connect2Compete have launched a computer recycling and donation drive to benefit low-income households, with the intent of increasing the number of homes in the United States with broadband Internet access.

Almost 60 percent of low-income households lack laptop or desktop computers and more than one-third of families without broadband Internet access list the cost of computers as reasons as why they do not have high-speed Internet in their homes. According to the FCC, the lack of broadband access is more pronounced among Latinos, with about half of the population having access to high speed Internet, compared to 70 percent of the general U.S. population. 

As part of an effort to maximize broadband Internet access by 2020, the FCC recently offered $300 million to several telecommunication companies to provide broadband services to more rural areas of the country. The FCC said that approximately $115 million in subsidies will be granted to companies that are expected to bring high speed Internet access to about 400,000 people in 37 states over the next three years.

In May, the Carlos Slim Foundation donated $3 million to Connect2Compete’s earlier broadband adoption efforts while the Ad Council recently announced a multiyear, multilingual public service announcement campaign to promote digital literacy beginning in 2013.

Several other organizations, including Redemtech, the Latin American Youth Center and the League of United Latin American Citizens have announced plans to participate in the new program.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will be joined by representatives from several participating organizations at an official announcement ceremony in Washington. A live webcast of the event is scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM EST.