Archive for Digital divide — Detroit

Updated maps show no-broadband majorities in most Cleveland and Detroit neighborhoods

About two-thirds of Census tracts in the cities of Cleveland and Detroit had fewer than 40% of their households served by fast DSL or cable Internet connections at the end of 2014, according to data filed with the Federal Communication Commission by Internet providers and mapped by CYC 2.0.

The FCC’s most recent release of Census tract data from providers’ semi-annual Form 477 reports shows that 119 out of Cleveland’s 175 tracts had fixed residential broadband subscriptions (which would include DSL, cable or non-mobile satellite Internet) equal to between 0% and  40% of their households. 185 of Detroit’s 291 tracts were in the same situation. Read more

AT&T will launch $10 Internet for SNAP households on April 22

AT&T is planning to launch its new $10 home Internet service for households using Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) on or about April 22.

The discount version of the company’s U-Verse broadband service, the result of a 2015 agreement with the FCC connected to AT&T’s takeover of DirectTV, will be available to any household that  a) includes a current SNAP recipient, and b) doesn’t have an arrearage with AT&T incurred in the previous six months.  (See AT&T fact sheet.)

According to the Census’ American Community Survey, in 2014 there were about 58,000 SNAP households in the city of Cleveland, 38,000 in the rest of Cuyahoga County, and 106,000 in the city of Detroit. By definition, these are among our communities’ lowest-income residents, which means they’re also among the most likely to lack home Internet access.

CYC is in the early stages of planning for a major campaign to help Cleveland SNAP households sign up for the new $10 service.  Stay tuned.

Under FCC pressure, AT&T promises $10 broadband for poor

Starting next Summer, any household enrolled in the Federal food assistance program (“SNAP”) in AT&T’s wireline service territory will have the chance to get pretty decent broadband Internet service for $10 a month.

That’s one of the commitments AT&T made to the Federal Communications Commission in order to win approval for its acquisition of DirectTV, finalized in an Opinion and Order handed down on July 24:

Within nine (9) months of the Closing Date, the Company shall establish and commence a program to substantially increase broadband adoption in low-income households throughout AT&T’s wireline footprint (the “Discounted Broadband Services Program”).

a. The Company shall offer wireline Broadband Internet Access Service with download speeds of at least 10 Mbps, where technically available, to qualifying households in the Company’s wireline footprint for no more than $10 per month. If 10 Mbps wireline Broadband Internet Access Service is not technically available, the Company shall offer wireline Broadband Internet Access Service with download speeds of at least 5 Mbps, where technically available, to qualifying households in the Company’s wireline footprintfor no more than $10 per month.

b. Where AT&T has deployed broadband service at top speeds below 5 Mbps, the Company shall offer wireline Broadband Internet Access Service at speeds of at least 3 Mbps, where technically available, to qualifying households in the Company’s wireline footprint for no more than $5 per month.

c. Qualifying households are those where at least one individual participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), subject to annual recertification, and that do not have outstanding debt for AT&T’s Fixed Broadband Internet Access Services that was incurred within the six (6) months prior to the individual’s request for services under the Discounted Broadband Services Program or that is incurred for services provided under the Discounted Broadband Services Program and that is subject to the Company’s ordinary debt collection procedures.

d. The Company shall offer the discounts set forth in this condition for at least four (4) years from the commencement of the Discounted Broadband Services Program. Qualifying households who sign up for the Discounted Broadband Services Program in the fourth year of the Discounted Broadband Services Program shall remain eligible for at least twelve (12) months.

e. Qualifying households shall not be required to pay any installation or modem charges or fees in order to participate in the Discounted Broadband Services Program.

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