A bipartisan group of House legislators urged internet service providers (ISPs) and trade associations to participate in and help make consumers aware of the newly created $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program.
Education leaders in Connecticut are likely giving themselves a pat on the shoulder based on new data released by the nonprofit Connected Nation that shows Connecticut school districts are achieving higher levels of school internet connectivity than the rest of the country.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Reps. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., and Roger Williams, R-Texas, have reintroduced the Eliminate the Digital Divide Act, which is intended to expand rural broadband access in rural America.
The demand for reliable and affordable broadband service has skyrocketed in the last year as Americans began relying on the internet for telework, distancing learning, and telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many Americans – both urban and rural – have lacked either access or sufficient connection strength during the health crisis.
Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced a $94 billion Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act in the House and Senate, respectively. The bill also has the support of Clyburn’s Rural Broadband Task Force, composed of 27 House Democrats.
The Federal Communications Commission has voted to formally adopt a Report and Order that establishes the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The program uses $3.2 billion in Federal funding to provide qualifying households discounts on their internet service bills and an opportunity to receive a discount on a computer or tablet.
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., are introducing legislation that will provide up to $15 billion in matching grants to increase access to broadband services in areas of the United States that are unserved by broadband meeting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) minimum definition of that service.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state secure $1.5 million in Federal funding to help state-licensed domestic violence service providers for mobile devices and improved Wi-Fi access.
A bipartisan group of senators from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has reintroduced the Telecommunications Skilled Workforce Act, a bill to address the shortage of trained telecom workers.
In the first legislative step toward paving the way for easier passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced the text of a joint 2021 budget resolution on Feb. 1.