House E&C Schedules COVID-19-Related Broadband Hearing

Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Gary Arlen)

The House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing Feb. 17 titled "Connecting America: Broadband Solutions to Pandemic Problems."

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It will come amid a flurry of activity on the broadband funding front in D.C., including billions of dollars more in COVID-19 relief aid and the planned reintroduction of a bill to spend $100 billion to get everybody connected to broadband, particularly closing the rural digital divide.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the digital divide and compounded problems for those who don’t have reliable home internet service,” said House E&C Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Communications Subcommittee Mike Doyle 9D-Pa.). “Families everywhere are depending on the internet to telework, attend tele-health appointments, and keep their kids learning in virtual classrooms. Our economy – and our children’s educations – would fall apart without it. We look forward to discussing what progress has been made to bridge the digital divide so far, and what work must still be done to make internet access more affordable during this pandemic. We must ensure that it is treated as a necessity for all and not a privilege for the few.”

No word on who will be the witnesses.

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.