RPD: Soon, Have-nots No Longer

83rd in a 2022 Series*

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Heads up to newspapers with deficient online strategies and to advocates for keeping public notices in the printed product: This week, the Biden administration announced a deal that would provide discounted, or, in effect, free, internet service to tens of millions of low-income households, including those living in areas historically plagued by slow or no access. The $1 trillion infrastructure package passed by Congress last year includes $14.2 billion to finance the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides $30 monthly subsidies to qualifying households, The Associated Press reported. Monday’s White House announcement identified 20 internet companies that have agreed to lower rates in the program and included a comment from the president that “high-speed internet is not a luxury any longer. It’s a necessity” The AP quoted Marty Newell at the Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg, KY, as saying, “It might be a game-changer.” Yes, the devil will be in the details and execution of the massive program is pending. But newspapers, especially those with weak websites and limited online offerings, should step up developing profitable digital delivery of news and marketing messages. Why run the risk of becoming irrelevant once internet access and speed are no longer obstacles for readers? Stop waiting.

–Tom Silvestri, Executive Director, The Relevance Project

*ABOUT THE SERIES: Our goal is to share a Relevant Point of the Day (RPD) each weekday throughout 2022. Our target is at least 222. Thank you for supporting The Relevance Project. Your success is our focus.

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