Pew Research Center: “Homework Gap” due to lack of broadband access affects millions in the U.S.

IMG_0897A recent study published by the Pew Research Center indicates that there is a significant “homework gap” – the inability of millions of U.S. children aged 6-17 to keep pace with class assignments due to the lack of high speed internet access in their homes – that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may address very soon.

The Lifeline program, which grants subsidized access to telephone services to low-income households, may be revised to include help with broadband internet services. The body is expected to meet to discuss the results of its 2014 Lifeline Broadband Pilot Project later this year.

The Lifeline program accounted for some $1.8 billion in telephone assistance to qualified low-income individuals in 2013.

Upon analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, Pew Research discovered that around  5 million households with school-age children do not have high-speed internet service. Low-income households are four times more likely to be without broadband internet access, which can seriously impact a child’s ability to complete homework assignments on time or at all.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn seems very much likely to push forward for including broadband in the Lifeline program, if this recent speech text is any indication. (

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