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Narrative Trends on Broadband Access

April 19, 2022Evan Robert

Internet access is increasingly seen as a human right in the public square. With the amount of news, business transactions, and social environments occurring online, it follows that those without reliable access to the web would become a sizable step behind those with access.

Both Congress and US media outlets have plenty to say about broadband access, and our Kudzu Narrative Briefs analyze their conversation and give some insight into where the narratives are focusing.

Top surfaced keywords by members of Congress

An obvious frontrunner in the broadband discussion is "rural communities," which is the top keyword from Congress in the past 30 days. Another keyword, "digital divide," confirms that most of the narratives from Congress are concerned with providing high-speed internet to underdeveloped communities and struggling rural school districts.

In the media, "infrastructure package" and "federal dollars" are among the top keywords related to broadband access. This is unsurprising as both state and federal legislation across the country is intent on expanding access and improvements to broadband internet. News outlets link broadband closely with transportation and infrastructure, as they are all major pillars the massive Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that was passed in late 2021.

Top amplifiers by party. D (78), R (36)

It seems that whether or not legislators believe internet access to be a human right, they are pouring billions into infrastructure to make sure most, if not all Americans have reliable internet. Most governmental bodies are still in the beginning stages of broadband development, so this narrative is sure to be a staple among Congress and news media alike. These Kudzu briefs will update automatically as the narratives, and funding, changes over time.

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