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Expanding Broadband Access
Has Achieved Nirvana
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Another idea that makes sense to me - expanding infrastructure and other programs to improve broadband access nationwide.

It's a WaPo article so I will quote part of it below

President-elect Joe Biden and top congressional Democrats are laying the groundwork to seek a massive increase in federal broadband spending next year, hoping they can secure billions of dollars in new government aid to improve Internet access and affordability — and help people stay online during the pandemic.

Party leaders are mulling a wide array of proposals that would extend the availability of broadband in hard-to-reach rural areas, raise Internet speeds for American households, assist families who are struggling to pay their Internet bills and provide more funding to schools for computers and other equipment. Many Democrats say they are bullish about their prospects, believing they can shepherd a series of record-breaking investments at a time when the resurgent coronavirus is forcing Americans to work and learn from home again.

Their first major opportunity could come as part of a new coronavirus stimulus package, a top priority for Biden as he prepares to enter the White House in January. The president-elect previously endorsed a House-passed relief bill that includes $4 billion in emergency funds to help low-income Americans stay online in a pandemic that has left tens of millions out of work and strapped for cash. Biden also reaffirmed his commitment to universal broadband on Tuesday as part of a broader preview of his economic-recovery agenda.

Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), a top Biden ally who led a broadband task force this year, said he “absolutely” expected the president-elect to move aggressively on the issue within his first 100 days in office. He acknowledged this week that lawmakers “still expect to get some opposition from Republicans” on additional spending, but he expressed optimism that the inequalities brought to light by the worsening coronavirus pandemic might spur Congress to act.

“Broadband in this century must be treated as electricity was in the 20th century,” Clyburn said.

Life is short. Play with your dog.

Posts: 30280 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pinta & the Santa Maria
Has Achieved Nirvana
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I totally agree. There have been conversations for years about how broadband access should be treated as a public utility or non-profit, and not a for-profit enterprise. It would be particularly beneficial for low-income and underserved areas. (As an aside, many families whose kids are in COVID-induced online school park in parking lots of companies that offer free wireless--like Starbucks--so their kids can log on, up/download assignments and talk to their teachers. IMO, this is criminal. Sure, schools can provide free chromebooks, but if the kids don't have broadband access, they are holding a brick in their hands.) This is yet another instance where capitalistic greed has gotten in the way of what's best for the populace.

Countries in the EU have already gotten aboard the municipal broadband train.
Posts: 33737 | Location: West: North and South! | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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