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What’s New in Digital Equity: Delaware May Become First Fully Connected State

Plus, advocates applaud federal efforts to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program, Empire State Development announces the members of its Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, and more.

The Delaware state capitol building in Dover, Del.
The Delaware state capitol building in Dover, Del.
Shutterstock/Jon Bilous
This week in “What’s New in Digital Equity” — our weekly look at government digital equity and broadband news — we have a number of interesting items, which you can jump to with the links below:


According to officials with the state of Delaware, the state is on track to become the first fully connected state in the nation. This claim was made at an event during which Gov. John Carney and representatives of leading service providers like Comcast and Verizon joined together with the Communication Workers of America to celebrate the state’s progress in closing the digital divide.

Progress over the last 12 months made by the state and Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom includes making high-speed Internet available for the first time to 5,859 homes and businesses in the state — primarily in rural areas. There are still 372 locations that remain to be installed using American Rescue Plan Act funding. The remaining locations are slated to be reached over the next few months, which will make a total of $33 million in ARPA funding.

“If there is any state that can connect every home and business, it ought to be Delaware,” Carney said in the announcement.

The state’s work in this space has been led by the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI), which contracted providers that were already serving residents with Internet and helped identify ways for these providers to extend their networks with ARPA funding.

DTI plans to use Delaware’s funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and additional funding from the Federal Communications Commission to complete the task of connecting all Delaware homes and businesses.

“We know our work is far from over,” said DTI CIO Greg Lane in the announcement. “Additional federal funding from the BEAD and Digital Equity Programs will support the connection of an estimated remaining Delaware 8,600 addresses, as well as help us ensure that everyone can take advantage of digital technologies that are accessible and affordable.”

Expanding broadband access to residents has been a goal for Delaware for years, as the state has worked to address “broadband deserts” and tapped experts to lead the work. With the state receiving the lowest amount of BEAD program funding of any state, an equitable and intentional deployment approach has been critical. (Julia Edinger)


The Biden-Harris administration has called on Congress to support and fund critical domestic needs; one of which is continued funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The program is expected to run out of funding in 2024 if Congress does not take action to sustain it.

The ACP has provided critical subsidies to help make Internet service affordable to eligible households, and now the White House joins a long list of organizations calling for continued program support. The administration has requested funds that will extend funding for eligible households through December 2024.

This support from the Biden-Harris administration has been commended by stakeholders from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, the Open Technology Institute, the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society and more. (Julia Edinger)


In the state of New York, Empire State Development (ESD) has announced members to serve on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. These members will advise on issues related to digital equity planning and implementation statewide. Members will represent key state infrastructure agencies, private-sector telecommunications operators, organized labor and tribal affairs.

The first committee meeting was held virtually on Oct. 18. Joshua Breitbart, who serves as senior vice president of ConnectALL within ESD, will serve as the chair of this committee.

The committee will help strategize to deliver on the five-year action plan ConnectALL released in September 2023. The plan outlines the state’s goals and priorities for deploying funding from the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program.(Julia Edinger)


The Housing and Neighborhood Development Department in Greensboro, N.C., is participating in an interactive online map project with the goal of pinpointing both challenges and opportunities for homeownership in that city, officials have announced.

Interested parties can use the maps to compare different metrics, ranging from broadband access to health-care info. And the maps go down to the census tracts, all while keeping an emphasis on Greensboro’s specific needs. To build the maps, the city worked with Winston-Salem State University's Center for the Study of Economic Mobility.

There are plans for city staffers to soon hold training sessions so that residents and others can learn to better navigate them.

More information about this project is available here. (Zack Quaintance)


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorized $18.2 billion in Enhanced Alternative Connect American Cost Model support, which is a program established earlier this year.

Essentially, it is sending this money to carriers who are collectively committing to deploying broadband service of at least 100/20 Mbps service to more than 70,000 new locations, or to maintain or improve that level of service for more than 2 million locations, spread throughout 44 states. These locations include some of the most difficult to reach for telecommunications infrastructure in the country.

More information about this new money can be found via the FCC here. (Zack Quaintance)


A new report seeks to detail the landscape of issues related to universal broadband access and digital equity in Maryland.

It’s called Digital Equity and Justice in Maryland: Challenges and Opportunities, and it was recently published by Economic Action Maryland. It gathers data from a series of five focus group sessions that included 61 participants from across the state. On top of that, it also involves interviews with 24 experts on the subject matter.

Five areas were pinpointed as the most significant digital equity challenges for the state, and they are affordability, reliability, reluctance to use the Internet, lack of digital skills and security.

More information about this report, including other areas it covers, can be found via the Benton Institute. (Zack Quaintance)
Julia Edinger is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Toledo and has since worked in publishing and media. She's currently located in Southern California.
Associate editor for <i>Government Technology</i> magazine.