FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said today he believes Congress should take action to make broadband service affordable for tens of millions of Americans with low incomes and those who have been left unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal government has worked to expand access to broadband across the U.S. through large investments in the sector and can continue expanding access in rural areas by improving data and broadband access maps.






The Federal Communications Commission said that the total value of funding grants under its COVID-19 Telehealth Program rose to $157 million, after the agency approved $29.4 million of new grants.






With the rise in telework, distance learning, and telehealth, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a spotlight on the importance of broadband connectivity. In a move to promote broadband expansion in rural America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) released nine policy principles to close the digital divide.






The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that cleared the Senate Armed Services Committee last week on a bipartisan vote of 25-2 includes the Spectrum Modernization Act, which would direct the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to evaluate a range of IT improvements that would improve Federal government spectrum management.






The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced May 21 it is partnering with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to promote the use of $50 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help close the digital divide during the COVID-19 pandemic.






The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced May 14 that 774 broadband and telephone providers have agreed to extend the Keep Americans Connected Pledge through June 30 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.






A bipartisan group of legislators introduced the Universal Broadband Act to improve access to broadband services by requiring companies to contribute to a fund, currently used only by telephone companies.






CenturyLink has extended its Keep Americans Connected Pledge that was launched by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai on March 13.






As schools have closed down across the country to combat the spread of COVID-19, students are increasingly needing broadband access to take part in digital learning. However, there are still wide swaths of the country – much of it rural – that lack access to broadband.






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