Library Futures is thrilled to be a part of a new collaborative research project with Consumer Reports to help measure and better understand the impact of high broadband costs and unreliable service on consumers across the United States. As we've written about before, broadband access is a critically important aspect of digital equity and one that uniquely concerns libraries. To quote Board Member Jill Hurst-Wahl, "Together, we can ensure equitable access to libraries and their collections, whether it is through the internet or by walking through a library’s front door. "
The global pandemic made access to high-speed affordable internet vital for jobs, education, and healthcare. However, 25% of people in the U.S. do not have broadband access at home, and for many others, it's often unreliable and too expensive. This isn’t just an access issue – it’s a civil rights issue. People without broadband access are disproportionately Black, Latinx, Indigenous, rural, or low-income.
But together we can change that. We’ve joined with CR and dozens of organizations on a groundbreaking project that could ultimately reveal if Americans are actually getting what they’re paying for when it comes to high-speed internet service.
We will take the results of this project and press companies and the government to help change broadband internet for the better in the United States — making it more affordable, and more accessible, for everyone.
Will you join this project that could change internet service for the better? All you need is a few minutes, an internet connection, and a copy of your internet bill.
By being a part of this research project, you’ll help us expose if internet prices and reliability vary because of where you live, because of lack of choice in internet providers, or because of exorbitant fees and charges. Your input couldn’t be more timely, as policymakers in Washington, D.C., are debating this summer whether to expand broadband internet access and make it more competitive, so we all have more choices of providers.
Library Futures advocates for ideal, universal access to information for all people, regardless of socioeconomic status, identity, or ability. With this new collaboration, we can address access at the source, but we can't do it without you. Join us – let's #BroadbandTogether.