Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Malinowski (NJ-7)
June 25, 2020
(Somerville, NJ) This week, Representative Tom Malinowski joined with fellow members of the House Rural Broadband Task Force to introduce the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, which will ensure all Americans have access to affordable high-speed internet. Lack of internet access is a problem for an estimated 18 million Americans, and the COVID-19 crisis exacerbated this issue as school moved online, and many were required to work from home.
“There are still places in my district where students are struggling to get their homework done because they don’t have access to broadband at home,” said Representative Malinowski. “As a member of the House Rural Broadband Task Force, I am proud to be putting forward this sweeping legislation that will give all Americans access to affordable high-speed internet.”
The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act would do the following:
Encourage Universal Broadband Access by:
- including $80 billion to deploy broadband infrastructure nationwide;
- allocating $5 billion for low-interest financing of broadband deployment through a new secured loan program; and
- establishing a new office within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to ensure efficient use of federal money.
Ensure Internet Affordability by:
- requiring an affordable option for internet service plans offered on the newly-built infrastructure;
- providing a $50 monthly discount on plans for low-income consumers; and
- directing the FCC to collect and publicize data on prices charged for broadband service throughout the country.
Promote Internet Adoption by:
- providing over $1 billion to establish grant programs for states to close gaps in broadband adoption, as well as digital inclusion projects for organizations and local communities to implement;
- including $5 billion to enable students without internet at home to participate in remote learning; and
- authorizing funding for Wi-Fi on school buses so students can stay connected, especially in rural areas where longer bus rides are common.