At least 21 million Americans, many if not most of them in rural areas, still lack access to high-speed internet, or broadband, says the Federal Communications Commission—and the number could be much higher, says the Pew Charitable Trusts, which will hold a webcast from 9 a.m. to noon ET Tuesday, Feb. 11, on how states can close the gap.

"Although much of the conversation about expanding broadband access has focused on the federal and local levels, states are taking decisive steps to expand this critical service to communities that lack it or are under-served," Pew says in its announcement on the page where the webcast will appear. "State leaders have recognized that broadband is not just a technology, but a key asset that will shape other policy priorities: access to health care, economic development, and distance-learning programs, among others." For Pew's latest issue brief on state broadband efforts, go here.

Pew says the webcast will include participants from California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maine, and will examine state practices in five categories that are proving effective for expanding broadband: stakeholder engagement, policy framework, planning and capacity building, funding and operations, and program evaluation. Its Twitter handle is #PewBroadband. Register here. To download Pew's latest report on the issue, go here. Its updated State Broadband Policy Explorer is here.