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Media, Inequality & Change Center

The Pennsylvania Broadband Research Institute

The Pennsylvania Broadband Research (PBR) Institute focuses on campaigns and research to expand broadband access to underserved communities throughout the Commonwealth.

The PBR Institute was founded in January 2023 by the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at the Pennsylvania State University and the Media, Inequality & Change (MIC) Center, housed at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Over the coming months, the Institute will produce policy briefs, research reports, op-eds, and academic articles detailing how a more equitable and just internet can be realized in Pennsylvania, including alternative means of internet provision such as public broadband and community wireless networks.

Specifically, we are:

  • Convening academics to analyze the political and economic structures and decision-making processes regarding broadband and telecommunications policy
  • Generating critical policy research pertaining to broadband and telecommunications
  • Working with local communities to diagnose their connectivity needs
  • Facilitating impactful change in broadband and telecommunications policy at the state and federal policy levels that will better serve the general public


America, Disconnected: What’s Biden’s Plan for Averting Digital Disaster?

ACP has provided a crucial lifeline to many Americans who otherwise cannot afford an internet connection. Despite the commitment of successive presidential administrations to achieving universal internet access across the country, America’s poorest communities—particularly Black and Latinx neighborhoods—continue to struggle to get and stay online.

The Bad Business of BEAD

With tens of billions of dollars about to be disbursed, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)—the government agency tasked with overseeing BEAD— continues to ignore a looming legal quandary that could mire the program in lawsuits.

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