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Blog // Connect Ohio

New Report Highlights Benefits of Digital Infrastructure

By Lindsay Shanahan

Last week, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released a report: A Policymaker’s Guide to Digital Infrastructure. The report outlines the benefits and challenges of incorporating technology systems that collect and transmit digital information into the infrastructure that currently transports people, goods, and information. The ITIF notes that increasing digital infrastructure can help communities in a number of ways: ·      Expanding capacity for both new and existing infrastructure ·      Saving time through reduced congestion and simplified operations · ...

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USDA Accepting Applications for $11M in Grants To Further Broadband to Rural Communities

By Amanda Murphy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for grants through its Community Connect program. This program helps fund broadband access in unserved communities and is administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. More than $11 million in grants will be awarded for broadband infrastructure, as well as broadband for community centers and public institutions. For 2016, the minimum grant amount will be $100,000, and the maximum is $3 million. For more information on the application process for the grants, see the April 18, 2016 Federal Register. Read the news release distributed by the USDA on April 18, 2016.

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FCC Approves Broadband Consumer Labels

By Amanda Murphy

Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released voluntary labels for broadband providers to use to disclose speeds, data caps, prices, and more for consumer broadband service. These labels were proposed by the Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee as a safe harbor for broadband providers to comply with the 2015 Open Internet Order, otherwise known as the Net Neutrality Order. In the 2015 Open Internet Order, the Commission asked providers to give consumers their prices, performance, and network practices in a simple, easy-to-understand way—similar to nutrition labels. Below is the broadband label template. Read...

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FCC To Lower Broadband Internet Prices for Low-Income Consumers - FACT SHEET

By Tom Koutsky

Download the Fact Sheet On Thursday, March 31, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will make it easier for low-income families to buy broadband service. It will expand its current “Lifeline” program, which currently subsidizes traditional telephone service for low-income consumers, and allow eligible low-income consumers to lower the price of their qualifying broadband service by $9.25 per month. Expanding Lifeline to broadband is the largest federal broadband adoption program in history. The Lifeline program was created in 1985, and it currently provides telephone and mobile voice service benefits to more than 608,000...

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