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Yesterday, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and other House and Senate Democrats revealed a universal high-speed internet plan as part of the party’s “Better Deal” platform. The “Better Deal” internet plan aims to “bring high-speed internet to every farm, school, and neighborhood” across America, focusing on the less profitable rural and urban areas that have been left behind.
According to the announcement, the “Better Deal” high-speed internet plan will:
- Invest at least $40 billion in direct federal funding.
- Provide direct federal support for a Universal Internet Grant Program to close the ‘last mile’ gap.
- Upgrade infrastructure where reasonable.
- Create accurate maps of areas that lack adequate internet access.
- Deliver internet speeds deeded to compete in the 21st century.
- Upgrade the nation’s critical safety infrastructure.
The following can be attributed to Yosef Getachew, Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge:
“We are pleased that Congressional Democrats have put a plan forward focused on ensuring every American has access to high-speed broadband. The plan provides a blueprint that promotes competition, deployment, and affordable broadband access particularly for communities living in rural and tribal areas that continue to go unserved or underserved.
“Broadband is now essential to participating in society, just like our telephone networks. Unfortunately, many communities still lack access to broadband. From rural towns to dense inner cities, the broadband industry is not serving everyone.
“America’s communications policy has always had the fundamental value of universal service. Under the Communications Act, Congress recognized that every American regardless of income, geography, or other factors should have access to affordable communications services. It was the framework found within Title II of the Communications Act that put a telephone in every household, and the same principles found in this ‘Better Deal’ internet plan could extend broadband across the nation.
“We look forward to working with Congressional Democrats and all members of Congress in fulfilling our nation’s fundamental value of universal service and bringing broadband to every American.”
You may view the “Better Deal” internet plan here. You may also view other tenants of the “Better Deal” agenda for more information on how the plan addresses competition, jobs, and drug prices, or review the plan’s outline.