Press Release Rural Broadband Access

More Than 200 Industry, Public Interest Groups Unite to Tell Congress that Americans Need Broadband During Pandemic

April 28, 2020 , , ,

Today, Public Knowledge joined 217 other public interest, government, industry, civil rights, rural advocacy, and academic groups — alongside schools and libraries — in a letter urging Congress to support access to affordable broadband internet in forthcoming COVID-19 stimulus packages.

In the letter, Public Knowledge and other organizations argue that tens of millions of Americans — particularly low-income families, rural residents, and people of color — lack broadband access, leaving our most vulnerable communities struggling to stay connected with school, work, healthcare, entertainment, and their loved ones during the pandemic. Additionally, more than 26 million Americans and counting have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and these individuals may struggle to pay their broadband bills — if broadband is available to them at all.

If Congress wants to help people stay connected and engaged from home, then lawmakers should make it possible for every American to do so. Public Knowledge urges Congress to enact policies that ensure everyone has broadband internet — especially at a time when our communication tools have never been more critical.

The following can be attributed to Jenna Leventoff, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Affordable broadband access has never been more critical, but millions of Americans are unable to get or stay connected. Without broadband, Americans can’t work remotely, take online classes, or access telemedicine. Moreover, without broadband, Americans may be cut off from their families and social networks at a time when so many desperately need interpersonal connections and emotional support.

“As many members of Congress are under stay-at-home orders, I trust that they understand first-hand how critical broadband is to life during the pandemic. And I hope that experience will motivate them to prioritize policies that ensure every American has affordable broadband access no matter where they live. Our country simply cannot afford to put this on the backburner any longer.”

You may view the letter here. You may also join the conversation using #WeNeedBroadband.