Even if the government promises to help expand fast broadband access to communities that need it, officials should expand eligibility criteria, Sen. agreed. Ron Wyden (D-OR). President Joe Biden the American Rescue Plan Act became law in March. It directed the Treasury Department to disburse billions of dollars in incentive funding to local and state governments.
Those funds could be used to improve broadband access, but research severely limits suitability standards for such projects. The bill says underserved or no -service communities will use federal funds to improve broadband access, as notes Approved by the Federal Communications Commission, communities with internet speed and 3 Mbps upwards is lacking in service. That definition has remained the same from 2015.
Wyden said the speeds aren’t nearly fast enough for today’s needs, calling the benchmark “unfortunately outdated.” He wants communities where speeds are not less than 100 Mbps up and down to be classified as under-service and to be eligible for upgraded internet infrastructure under this plan.
“The widespread adoption of video calling, streaming, and other bandwidth-intensive apps among Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that extreme speeds and data caps were hampering telework, remote education and capacity. in telehealth, “Wyden wrote in a letter of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. “Simply put, it’s not possible for a family of four to telework and share remote schooling while sharing 3 Mbps upload bandwidth.”
Wyden goes on to argue that a failure to address the concerns “would further expand the digital divide and jeopardize our ability as a nation to recover well from the COVID-19 pandemic. , as you have completed the Coronavirus State Final Rule and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, I encourage [Yellen] to make it clear that wireless locations are included wherever accessible, reliable broadband not less than 100 Mbps symmetric is not available. “Wyden added that“ in order to access, broadband must also be cheap. “
Some lawmakers are pushing the FCC to upgrade the definition of high-speed broadband to 100 Mbps up and down. Earlier this month, California announced a budget plan , noting that “service speeds below 100 Mbps are not enough for homes juggling the demands of distance learning, telework, and access to online health care.”
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