Press Release Rural Broadband Access

Public Knowledge Welcomes Bill Investing $94 Billion to Connect More Families

March 11, 2021 , , , , ,

Today, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reintroduced the “Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act” in both the U.S. House and Senate to invest $94 billion to connect more people. Public Knowledge commends Rep. Clyburn, Sen. Klobuchar, and the House Rural Broadband Task Force for working to provide high-speed broadband access to more families.

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

“This legislation is a significant investment that would help the approximately 42 million Americans on the wrong side of the digital divide by taking a more comprehensive approach to getting and keeping people connected to affordable, reliable high-speed broadband. It would fund both broadband deployment and affordability, as well as improving reliability by requiring the FCC to collect data on the resiliency of our nation’s communications networks.

“We are glad to see that this legislation takes significant steps towards a more affordable broadband marketplace by requiring providers to offer a low-cost broadband plan, prioritizing open-access projects, and preempting state laws banning municipalities from offering broadband.

“We are also glad this legislation will require the Commission to incentivize widespread use of broadband consumer labels. Many consumers pay hundreds of extra dollars a year in unexpected fees and equipment rental costs, and often don’t know what level of service they are paying for before they buy. These labels would help consumers make informed decisions about which broadband service to subscribe to. 

“We urge Congress to pass this legislation as an important next step towards closing the digital divide, and look forward to working with Rep. Clyburn, Sen. Klobuchar, and others as they continue their work to close the digital divide for good.”