Hill's Broadband Help Draws Praise

Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Architect of the Capitol)

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was not the only one praising Congress for maintaining/boosting broadband spending in must-pass legislation they have hammered out.

“The COVID emergency has highlighted both the value and importance of broadband connectivity and that all Americans must have access to such service during the emergency and beyond," said ACA Connects President Matthew Polka.

Also Read: Pai Praises Broadband Funding in Hill Legislation

“It is for that reason that ACA Connects urged Congress in the COVID emergency legislation to direct support to help in-need individuals obtain such connectivity, and we commend Congress for adopting this approach. By providing $3.2 billion in direct support for broadband connectivity for low-income families, as well new stimulus checks and additional unemployment assistance, Congress will help Americans stay connected for the months ahead to the reliable, robust broadband connectivity that ACA Connects members and others provide."

"If it wasn't glaringly important before, the pandemic has confirmed the vital need of a broadband internet connection — one that is reliable, affordable, and for some of us, simply available,” said Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports, in a statement. “Too many Americans are not able to access or afford broadband. This is especially true for people who've lost their jobs or can't find regular work since the coronavirus shuttered many businesses.

“When all of us are working, teaching and getting our medical care online, it is an imperative to ensure everyone has connectivity,” added Consumer Reports President Marta L. Tellado. “This is a good step, but if we truly want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to reboot the American dream in this digital era, there is far more work that needs to be done in the near term to invest in new and upgraded infrastructure.”

“For years, I have been working to ensure that first responders in Massachusetts and across the country have the resources they need to do their jobs,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) of the bill's inclusion of a provision eliminating the congressional directive to auction public safety spectrum. “Every day, brave women and men on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic rely on T-Band spectrum to communicate with each other. By passing this bill into law, Congress will say loud and clear to our public safety heroes, ‘We have your back.’"

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.