accessibility Benton Foundation

The Internet is Not Working for Everyone

Voiced by Amazon Polly

May 26, 2020
Source: Benton Institute for Broadband & Society
Author: Kevin Taglang
Coverage Type: Analysis

We’re all obviously aware of the unprecedented National Emergency President Donald Trump declared on March 13, 2020 and the shelter-at-home orders many have lived under in the last few months. Telework, telehealth, and distance education have all boomed during this time, testing residential broadband networks like never before. Back in the early weeks of the crisis, assessments based on data from broadband providers themselves and third-party internet traffic monitors led one policymaker to declare that surges in Internet traffic are well within the capacity of U.S. networks and “America’s Internet infrastructure continues to perform well.” Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, however, called on the FCC to do a better job of tracking network outages to find and fill gaps in service. Benton Senior Fellow, Jonathan Sallet, a former FCC general counsel, asked for the FCC to issue a weekly broadband status report, updating America on what is working about our broadband networks and what, if anything, is not. Absent disaster-like reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve not seen a comprehensive review of how home internet connections are faring during the coronavirus crisis. Recent news, however, is troubling.