White House Call to Action on Closing the Digital Divide

Over the past seven years, under President Obama’s leadership the United States has expanded broadband access, bringing millions of people online and creating significant new economic, educational, and social opportunities.

Since the President took office, investments from the Federal government have helped deploy or upgrade more than 140,000 miles of network infrastructure, and more than 45 million additional Americans have adopted broadband Internet. The United States led the world in deployment of high-speed 4G/LTE mobile broadband and today it is available to over 98% of Americans. Moreover, the President’s ConnectED initiative, to deliver the benefits of technology and personalized learning to all the nation’s K-12 students, has closed the connectivity divide in U.S. schools by half. But, there is still more work to do, especially for the 51 percent of the lowest-income households that lack a wireline broadband connection at home. A recent analysis from the Council of Economic Advisers highlighted where this additional work is needed.

The Federal government can’t fix this problem alone. Are you—as an internet service provider, philanthropic foundation, non-profit, industry, local or state government—taking action to close the Digital Divide? We want to hear from you.

For example, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) might expand an affordable, high speed internet offering by automatically qualifying all households in zip codes within their coverage footprint that have low broadband penetration and low median income. Or, a non-profit or local government or corporate partner might expand efforts to provide low-income, non-broadband households with access to low or no-cost computers and digital literacy training.

If you are, or intend to offer services like these, please complete the information below. Tell us about the specific, measurable new steps your organization is taking to help close the Digital Divide. Examples of prior actions organizations have taken to address the Digital Divide can be found in the White House fact sheets on ConnectED and ConnectHome.

Thank you for your continued leadership, and we look forward to working with you on this important topic.

If you have any questions, please contact NEC_Tech@who.eop.gov. Please submit this form by Thursday, March 3, 2016.

Organization Information
Announcement Summary

In the space above, please provide a summary of any new announcements(s) or actions your organization will make that are contributing to closing the Digital Divide. These commitments may reflect a potential scope of work for the coming year. Please quantify each commitment to the extent you are able to do so; in terms of time line, resources required, people potentially impacted. Please limit your response to no more than six lines of text per commitment. This information may inform a fact sheet, report, or similar document released publicly related to this initiative.

Announcement Details

Please provide as much additional detail as you would like for each of the announcements/actions you described above. You are invited to expand upon the information above, provide background, and note any other information you believe is relevant to the commitment. Note: The subsequent section provides space to describe pre-existing efforts.

Ongoing Efforts to Close the Digital Divide

If you are interested in describing existing efforts that your new commitment is building on, please do so above. Please limit a summary description to no more than four lines.


Please feel to share, in succinct format, any other information that you believe would contribute to the success of this work going forward. This can include, for example, key facts and research findings, compelling examples, or ideas for increasing public awareness of this topic.

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