Even though the Internet has only been a part of our lives for a relatively short time, its transformative power is virtually unrivaled in modern history. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without it.

Unfortunately, many Americans don’t have to imagine. According to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 18 million Americans don’t have access to high-speed Internet service. These “have-nots” constitute the so-called “digital divide” and are shut out of the myriad of economic, educational, and social benefits the Internet has to offer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has served to reaffirm just how vital Internet service is. Those with access to high quality broadband service have been able to work from home, go to school remotely, and even avail themselves of telehealth service. Those without access have had a much tougher time.

Our latest OIG white paper looked at possible roles the U.S. Postal Service, which has a physical presence in nearly every community, could play in helping bring the full benefits of 5G and other broadband service to parts of the country that are currently unserved or underserved. One potential opportunity is turning some post offices into digital hubs for Wi-Fi access. Others include working with partners to either install antennas or lease space within postal facilities. Lastly, the Postal Service could assist in collecting valuable data about broadband coverage in remote areas.

What do you think? Should the Postal Service help bring broadband to unserved or underserved communities?

Comments (7)

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  • anon

    Sounds great! I am moving into 5G on my iPhone w/in the next few weeks.

    Sep 22, 2020
  • anon

    It is my opinion that the better connections between individuals law enforcement and news media will (hopefully) generate a a calm atmosphere everywhere inside & outside the USA .

    Sep 21, 2020
  • anon

    The USPS should refine it's primary task - deliver stuff to people. Utilize any public facility for broadband service, but keep the Post Office out of its operation, maintenance, or administration.

    Sep 21, 2020
  • anon

    This would be a great burden lifted. For the past week I've been struggling to get wifi which goes in and out constantly usijng the 20$ a week cox wifi. It's disappointing because it interferes with every aspect of communication and importance must have due to workplace, emails etc, I'm calling so behind due to limitations with disability and financial issues.

    Sep 21, 2020
  • anon

    I'm interested in the idea of studying abroad, and for this to help our economy is a plus. I'd be interested in Wi-Fi . Thank you for updating us on the newest from gov to g.o.p. appreciate the opportunity to work with you. Please send link for Post mates local help as well as free world wide wifi. Share the wealth. #coronavirusvaccinnee :));))

    Sep 21, 2020
  • anon

    I THINK THAT YOUR NEW IDEAS TO BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE ARE EXCELLENT. I applaud you, but doubt that this Congress or this President will support such forward thinking or such expenditure on lower classes (rural) of people. Cutbacks for political interests seem to be MORE important. It is with great anger and disgust that I see this Senate and Executive branch colluding with the Judicial branch. I think the internet and Wi-Fi are a step toward the future.

    Sep 21, 2020
  • anon

    Thanks for the service to our citizens. I live in a rural area and a "dead zone", so mail delivery is VERY IMPORTANT. Please stay safe and healthy and thank you for all you do for me.

    Sep 21, 2020

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