Yvonne Chueh (Mathematics)
Prior to Covid-19, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), approximately 19 million Americans lacked access to the broadband network. At the time, this gap in access to the internet was not really an issue since most of daily life, including education and jobs, did not require an internet connection. Covid-19 resulted in the need to maintain distancing and reduce contact with others. This resulted in the need for work and education to be done remotely through the internet. This highlighted the gap in availability of remote access. To alleviate this gap, policies and benefits are introduced which are going to be referred to as digital inclusion policies. These policies are primarily implemented at a state government level. Since policies and benefits are introduced on a state-to-state basis, there are differences in the allocation of funds, and not all states enacted the same benefits and polices. However, there is some similarity in the types of policies that the research discovered. Some of these types of policies are: Funding for internet and/or technology for K-12 students, Maps of freely available wi-fi hotspots, webpages and hotlines detailing affordable internet and/or mobile services, and expansion of free public wi-fi. The purpose of this report is to analyze the cost per capita of these policies from information provided through press releases, state and national government provided statistics, and other credible sources when necessary.