August 13, 2020

Sen. Amy Klobuchar Introduces Senate Version of Clyburn’s House Broadband Bill

From Multichannel News:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has introduced The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, the Senate version of a House bill that would invest $100 billion to build broadband in underserved areas as well as requiring an “affordable” broadband offering from anyone getting those build-out bucks.

The House version was introduced last week by Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), whose daughter, Mignon Clyburn, is the former FCC chair who has made closing the digital divide a priority in her post-FCC work.

Read the Complete Article

From Sen. Klobuchar’s Media Release:

In the Senate, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act is cosponsored by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

“When we invest in broadband infrastructure, we invest in opportunity for every American,” Klobuchar said. “In 2020, we should be able to bring high-speed internet to every family in America — regardless of their zip code — and this legislation is a critical step to help bridge the digital divide once and for all.”

[Clip]

The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act would do the following:

Encourage Universal Broadband Access by:

  • including $80 billion to deploy high-speed broadband infrastructure nationwide;
  • allocating $5 billion for low-interest financing of broadband deployment through a new secured loan program;  and
  • establishing a new office within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to ensure efficient use of federal money.

Ensure Internet Affordability by:

  • requiring an affordable option for internet service plans offered on the newly-built infrastructure;
  • providing a $50 monthly discount on plans for low-income consumers; and
  • directing the FCC to collect and publicize data on prices charged for broadband service throughout the country.

Promote Internet Adoption by:

  • providing over $1 billion to establish grant programs for states to close gaps in broadband adoption, as well as digital inclusion projects for organizations and local communities to implement;
  • including $5 billion to enable students without internet at home to participate in remote learning; and
  • authorizing funding for Wi-Fi on school buses so students can stay connected, especially in rural areas where longer bus rides are common.

The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act is endorsed by the Public Knowledge, Free Press, National Consumer Law Center, New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, Consumer Reports, Schools, Health, Libraries, and Broadband Coalition (SHLB), Common Cause, Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, , Leadership Conference, Access Now, Electronic Frontier Foundation, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, National Education Association, National Defense Industrial Association, Communications Workers of America, and North America’s Building Trades Union.

Read the Complete Media Release (approx. 3050 words)

See Also: “Rep. Clyburn Leads Introduction of $100B Broadband Bill” (H.R. 7302, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act); ALA Applauds” (June 24, 2020)

See Also: The Supporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students in Need Act Introduced (May 13, 2020)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Share