As advertised, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), joined by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), has re-introduced a bill to close the digital divide by connecting everyone to the internet at high speeds--1 Gig is the goal.
"Internet access will have the same dramatic impact on rural communities as the rural electrification efforts in the last century," Clyburn tweeted of the bill, which he previewed at the INCOMPAS virtual conference last month. "This pandemic has further widened the digital divide and exposed the urgent need to enact the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act," said Clyburn.
It may be affordable, but the price tag for the government will be $100 billion.
Clyburn, who created the Rural Broadband Task Force, has said he has lined up support in the House and Senate for his bill.
“Internet for All is more than a goal, it’s a moral imperative," said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS and himself a former member of the House. "Together our nation can and must, extend the power of faster more affordable internet access to every American family. The “Internet for All” legislation will create jobs today and make a bold investment in a better future filled with more competition, innovation and opportunity for all."
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.
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