Democratic FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel used the FCC's announcement of waivers she supports to urge the commission to do more to close the digital divide during the unprecedented coronavirus crisis.
Commenting on FCC chairman Ajit Pai's announcement that the FCC was waiving gift rules that prevent some carriers from donating equipment or devices to schools, libraries and hospitals receiving government-subsidized broadband, Rosenworcel called it a "smart step," but added: "[L]et’s not confuse generosity for justice, because we need a national plan to ensure that everyone is connected during these unprecedented days."
She called on the FCC to use its authority to provide hotspots and work with health care providers to ensure connectivity for telehealth services.
"We also need to do more so Americans can get online during this crisis at little or no cost," she said. "Where data caps and overage fees remain in place, they need to be lifted and eliminated. This crisis demands urgent action. There’s more the FCC can do right now – and we should.”
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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