March 23, 2020 – Ramping up the pressure to ensure that the stimulus measure in Congress has a broadband component, Free Press released a statement Monday urging Congress to dedicate $100 billion in broadband connectivity during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some have criticized the relief bill in Congress for not adequately addressing broadband.
Free Press highlighted the following allocations for the funds:
- $1 billion in immediate funding for the FCC’s existing Lifeline program for increases in minutes and data allowances typically available from the wireless services most Lifeline recipients use, and for the likely influx of people who’ll be laid off or lose their jobs in the coming weeks.
- $25 billion for an expanded Lifeline benefit of up to $50 per month for a home-internet connection that low-income individuals and families could use to get and stay connected.
- $5 billion for expansion of the FCC’s “e-Rate” educational connectivity program to expand school and library Wi-Fi networks into surrounding neighborhoods and to get Wi-Fi hotspots into the hands of students who have no home-internet connections.
- $50 billion for deployment of high-capacity broadband networks in rural and unserved areas to fund the broadband construction that lawmakers so often call for but rarely allocate money for.
“If Congress fails to act, the economic and social impacts of this crisis will be far worse than we dare imagine. Despite the need to act now to get and keep everyone connected, reporting on the COVID relief packages under debate over the weekend suggest that the Senate’s GOP majority is unwilling to help,” said Free Press Research Director Derek Turner.
“What the country needs right now is massive spending to replace lost incomes and to keep society functioning while most people are confined to their homes,” said Turner.
The plan for funding “subsidies, rebates and tax relief targeted toward broadband” is detailed in the Free Press report “Keeping Connected Amid Crisis: Policies to Keep People Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
- Federal Communications Commission Grants First Licenses for Tribal Radio Frequencies During Priority Window
- National Rural Education Association Advocates For Universal Home Broadband Access to Assist Rural Students
- Evidence-Based Policy Making is Particularly Important in Managing Radio Frequency Spectrum
- Policymakers Urge Better Broadband Maps, Seek Funding for ‘Rip and Replace,’ and Tout Open Radio Networks
- Breakfast Media Minute: October 23, 2020
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Broadband Roundup1 month ago
Nathan Simington is Trump’s New Man for FCC, New Speed Test, Challenges for State Net Neutrality
Artificial Intelligence4 months ago
U.S. State Department Employing Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19 Misinformation
Broadband's Impact3 months ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online Launches Weekly Series Featuring ‘Champions of Broadband’
Infrastructure4 months ago
Michigan Broadband Cooperative Calls Report Saying Municipal Broadband Has an Unfair Advantage ‘Laughable’
Fiber2 months ago
Ubiquitous Fiber Infrastructure is Essential to Maximize the Advantages of 5G, According to WIA Report
Broadband Roundup4 months ago
Artificial Intelligence Task Force, State Cybersecurity, ADTRAN Offers Rural Funding Guidance
Open Access3 months ago
In Danville, Virginia, an Early Adopter of Open Access Seeks to Prove the Business Model
5G4 months ago
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg Describes 5G-to-the-Home Vision, Claiming U.S. Leads in 5G Deployment