Another day, another comprehensive broadband infrastructure bill.
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.
"I am pleased Sen. Klobuchar is leading the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act in the Senate,” Rep. James Clyburn said in a statement. “This legislation was crafted in collaboration with the House Rural Broadband Task Force and members of the Energy and Commerce Committee. It invests over $100 billion to build nationwide high-speed broadband infrastructure, and makes the resulting internet service affordable for all. Sen. Klobuchar understands the needs of underserved communities and has been a consistent champion for the expansion of high-speed broadband access. I look forward to working together to pass this critical piece of legislation in both chambers."
Co-sponsors of the Senate bill include Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen (both D-Nev.).
“Broadband is now essential for work, education, healthcare, and so much of modern life," said FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel of the Hill efforts to goose deployment. "So kudos to Senator Klobuchar and her colleagues for their efforts to develop a plan to connect us all. Working together like this we can solve the digital divide, fix the homework gap, and give everyone a fair shot at internet age success,” said FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.
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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.