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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A coalition of groups across the state are launching a public awareness campaign to get more Arkansans access to discounted internet thanks to a relatively new pandemic-era program, according to a Monday news release.

Why it matters: More than 1 million Arkansans don't have internet. That's about a third of the state.

What's happening: Arkansans who struggle to afford internet are eligible to apply for the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

  • The program, started last month, gives discounts of up to $50 a month on home internet and up to $100 toward a laptop, computer or tablet.
  • Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Broadband Office, Bentonville-based nonprofit Heartland Forward, the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and the Arkansas State Library, among others, are trying to get the word out to low-income Arkansans through ads and community outreach.

Yes, but: The $3.2 billion program is temporary and will end when money runs out or six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic.

What they're saying:

"The COVID-19 pandemic exposed how many Arkansans still lack internet access, and how critical it is to invest in closing the digital divide in our state."
Gov. Hutchinson in a news release

Details: One member of a household must meet at least one of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC's Lifeline program
  • Receives free or reduced-price school lunch or breakfast
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since Feb. 29, 2020
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program

Of note: Heartland Forward is promoting the program as part of its three-year Connecting the Heartland initiative focused on ensuring families and businesses have access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Technology

Ad boom rains billions on Big Tech

Data: Company filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

Advertising growth was the chief driver of tech's blowout quarter, as the economy snapped back from the pandemic and a long-term shift to digital went into overdrive.

By the numbers: Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google all posted record ad revenue growth rates in earnings reports for 2021's second quarter.

Updated 20 mins ago - Sports

The Olympic events to watch today

Suni Lee on the uneven bars during the women's gymnastics team final. Photo: Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

5 events to watch today...
  • 🤸‍♀️ Women's gymnastics: Team USA’s Suni Lee and Jade Carey will compete in the individual all-around. Carey replaces Simone Biles, who pulled out of the event for mental health reasons. Coverage starts at 6:50 a.m. ET on nbcolympics.com (watch the replay at 8 p.m. ET on NBC).
  • 🏐 Women’s volleyball: The women’s team, who is 2-0 in pool play, will meet Turkey at 8:45 a.m. ET on USA Network.
  • 🏊 Swimming: Finals in the women’s 200m breaststroke and 100m freestyle, as well as the men’s 200m backstroke and 200m individual medley. Coverage starts at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
  • 🚲 BMX racing: Live coverage of the men and women’s semifinals and finals starts at 10 p.m. ET on CNBC.
  • 🏃‍♀️ Track and field: Round 1 of the women’s 100m race begins at 11:15 p.m. on NBC.
Felix Salmon, author of Capital
31 mins ago - Economy & Business

Get ready for more debt ceiling drama

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was bliss while it lasted — which was exactly two years. Right now, the U.S. has no limit on the amount of debt it can issue. But that ends on Saturday.

Why it matters: Brace yourself for another round of unedifying posturing and brinkmanship, all of which should result — after a period of entirely unnecessary fiscal contortion — in the debt ceiling being raised (not abolished) sometime this fall.