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State and local officials don’t trust ISPs to close digital divide, poll finds

March 17, 2021

Few state and local officials believe national telecommunications companies, despite their role in expanding emergency connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic, are capable of closing the digital divide, according to new research from the Broadband Equity Partnership consulting firm.

A survey of economic development and IT agency officials, nonprofit leaders, school officials and utility company executives published by the firm last week found that less than 25% of 120 total respondents were confident that national ISPs can use future federal funds to close the digital divide, which has been exacerbated over the past year by the coronavirus pandemic.

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