Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), along with Representatives Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA), announced support for a broadband program to help close the digital divide. The proposal follows yesterday’s letter from Public Knowledge and 217 other public interest and industry groups urging Congress to include affordable broadband in future coronavirus stimulus packages. Public Knowledge commends Congressional Democrats for championing affordable broadband access during a time when it’s needed most in every community.
The following can be attributed to Jenna Leventoff, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“Just yesterday, more than 200 groups spoke out about the importance of broadband access, and Congress listened. With today’s announcement that the House is proposing a broadband package, we are one step closer to closing a digital divide that has never been more prominent. As Americans stay at home, some have access to all that the internet has to offer — including opportunities for learning, working, and staying connected with loved ones — while others do not. Congress must do everything in its power to equalize access to broadband both during this crisis and after.
“We urge Congress to continue fighting for broadband proposals in forthcoming COVID-19 stimulus legislation. We hope that stimulus legislation includes proposals to get broadband to households that don’t have it, and to help Americans struggling to afford it in the first place. Additionally, we urge Congress to include broadband deployment funding, policies that promote a competitive broadband market, and policies that ensure our nation’s networks are reliable when customers need them, as part of a broader broadband infrastructure bill.
“We look forward to seeing more details about this newly announced broadband proposal, and to working with Congress to ensure that any policies proposed help as many people to get and stay connected as possible. While Americans need to be connected now, it is also important that they can stay connected in the long term.”
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