NEBSA Updates - Coronavirus Adds Focus To Digital Divide

As the Coronavirus impacts the country, the need for digital services increases, providing greater focus on the digital divide.

As the virus pushes more activities and services online, expansion and retooling efforts are occurring across multiple fronts.  

Schools and businesses are increasingly going to a total online environment.

The use of telemedicine is being expanded in response to the outbreak.

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks recently commented, “Coronavirus, without some immediate changes being made, is certainly going to exacerbate the haves and have-nots for who’s digitally connected.

The FCC estimates a minimum of 21 million Americans do not have access to high-speed broadband.  The gap is largest on rural and tribal lands with 32% on Tribal lands.

EBS licensees have already been responding to some of the challenges presented by the Coronavirus.  NEBSA will be coordinating with EBS licensees helping disseminate information on innovative solutions,  activities, and resources.