Broadband Infrastructure Proposal Targets Digital Divide March 11, 2021
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. (March 11, 2021) - Today House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Senate Broadband Caucus Co-chair Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) reintroduced the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act in the House and Senate. These bills provide over $90 billion in funding to enable ubiquitous broadband access and adoption.
John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, made the following statement:
"For the last year the conversation around closing the digital divide has centered on short-term, urgent solutions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While these efforts are critical, we also need long-term solutions to address the enormous inequities in our broadband landscape so we are better prepared for the next crisis. The SHLB Coalition applauds Majority Whip Clyburn and Senator Klobuchar for re-introducing the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, a well-rounded proposal that looks to close our nation's connectivity gap. It provides a path to gigabit broadband for all community anchor institutions in the country, a goal established in the National Broadband Plan that we must not let slip. We encourage Congress to keep its eye on the prize – closing the digital divide – by moving quickly to enact the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act as soon as possible."
In addition to funding gigabit broadband for all anchors, key provisions in the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act include:
- Digital literacy funding to promote broadband adoption.
- An additional $2 billion for the E-rate Emergency Connectivity Fund.
- $2 billion for the Rural Health Care program (Senate version only).
The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit www.shlb.org.