Few innovations have comprehensively changed the nature of the American economy and daily life like high-speed internet — commonly known as broadband. Access to fixed wireline broadband connects millions of people to digital information networks, which can have a transformative effect on the quality of life an individual leads1 and the competitiveness of regional economies.2 However, the digital divide — the uneven distribution of broadband service and adoption — adversely affects residents of rural areas, black and Hispanic groups, and low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities (Strover 2001, Pew Research Center 2019, Gallardo, Whitacre, and Grant 2018).

1 For example, Horrigan (2010) found that broadband internet at home helps low-income people better manage time, money, and family schedules.

2 In a wide-ranging literature review, Salemink, Strijker, and Bosworth (2017) find that rural economies are in need of broadband connections to compensate for their remote geography.