GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Telework is essential to the continuity of federal operations in emergencies—but it also brings added cybersecurity risks. We examined federal agencies' preparedness to support expanded telework during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While most Americans have broadband internet access, many do not—a gap known as the digital divide. Federal efforts to bridge it rely on data FCC collects from broadband providers. We have raised concerns that this data overstates service.
In 2020, FCC was tasked with mapping all U.S.
If you were near a person who later tests positive for an infectious disease, an exposure notification app can let you know. These apps allow for more rapid and broader contact tracing—ideally helping to slow disease spread.
About half of the U.S.
The U.S. military depends on systems of ultra high frequency ("narrowband") satellites for secure communications. The newest system provides cell-phone-like voice and data service to military users and could provide a 10-fold increase in communications capacity.
In the U.S., the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration regulate use of radio-frequency spectrum to help ensure there's enough available for 5G networks, satellites, and everything else.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, 96% of the U.S. population has access to broadband—an always "on" internet connection—at or above the FCC's benchmark for minimum speed. (Access rates are lower in rural areas and we previously found overall access may be overstated.
The U.S. risks losing control of the battlefield if it doesn't control the electromagnetic spectrum, according to the Defense Department. This range of frequencies is critical for communications, navigation, weapons, and more.
The Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program provides discounts on phone and internet service for low-income Americans. Service providers used to check applicants' eligibility, but by June 2020, most applicants were required to use FCC's new "Verifier" system instead.