If there’s one thing that the coronavirus has shown, we all need high-speed internet access to survive in an age when everyone is stuck at home. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for 18 million Americans.
It’s a staggering number, especially when you consider how essential online access is for work, school and just about every facet of our lives. Broadband access is as critical as running water or electricity, even if it isn’t anywhere near as available.
The problem cuts across different groups, from, to who can’t afford internet service.
It’s a problem virtually everyone agrees needs to be solved — even if nobody can agree on a solution.
The Daily Charge podcast explores this issue in a six-part series of podcasts, where we interview industry experts and executives to get their perspectives on how to address the digital divide.
Episode 1: How did we get here?
CNET senior reporter and regulatory expert Maggie Reardon sets the stage with a look at the past issues and regulatory maneuvers that have created the gap we see today.
Episode 2: Why it’s still a problem.
Internet Innovation Alliance Chairman Bruce Mehlman discusses some of the political, regulatory and technical hurdles we face today. (Tomorrow)
Episode 3: A look at the National Broadband Plan.
Blair Levin, who served as the executive director in charge of producing the National Broadband Plan under the Obama administration, discusses what’s changed since it debuted back in 2010. (Aug. 26)
Episode 4: What about wireless?
Verizon Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady discusses cellular’s role in getting more people access to the internet. (Aug. 27)
Episode 5: Is 5G the answer?
Qualcomm’s Dean Brenner, senior vice president of spectrum strategy and technology policy, and Alice Tornquist, vice president of government affairs, discuss how 5G fits into the solution. (Aug. 28)
Episode 6: How do we get out of this jam?
Morgan Kurk, chief technology officer of infrastructure provider Commscope discusses how current technology can help close the gap, but how political hurdles still need to be cleared. (Aug. 29)