The Federal Communications Commission’s deputy chairman announced on Monday a proposal to use $ 3.2 billion in emergency funding to provide significant subsidies for broadband services in millions of households. This is an attempt to reduce the digital divide that punished low-income households during a pandemic.
At her suggestion, Chairman Jessica Rosenwarsel has announced that qualified households will receive a $ 50 / month discount on high-speed Internet services. The discount for households on tribal land is $ 75. Rosen Warsel sent a proposal to the other three members for a vote, but did not specify when the vote would take place for the program. Benefits of emergency broadband..
Congress allocated funding as part of the Covid-19 bailout bill last December. This money will be available to households 135% above the poverty line, those eligible for a free reduced school lunch, or those who have experienced significant income losses after February 29, 2020. ..
At least 14.5 million households do not have access to high speed internet. Many families, especially urban and suburban, were unable to access the service due to the high cost of broadband.Result of Digital divide during a pandemic It’s tough. Children have been separated from online learning, and adults are no longer able to work from home or find important health information.
“You don’t have to choose between paying for the internet or putting your meals on the table,” Rosen Warsel said in a statement. “With the help of Emergency Broadband Benefit, there are new ways for homes to access virtual learning, patients to connect to telemedicine providers, and people suffering from this pandemic to learn new online skills and look for their next job. . “
Digital divide It’s one of the most stubborn issues for the federal government.
Over $ 8 billion of federal subsidies are allocated to Internet service providers each year to provide broadband to all American homes, but recruitment and access rates are skyrocketing. Broadband maps, for example, are notorious for overestimating the number of households that can access the service. When an internet service provider such as Verizon or Comcast reaches one home in a census block, the entire block is connected on a federal map, even if not all homes are actually given broadband options. It looks like there is.
Last week, Rosen Warsel announced a task force to study the tracking of agencies for broadband access data.
FCC Broadband Plan Includes Millions of Dollars Monthly Subsidy of $ 50
Source link FCC Broadband Plan Includes Millions of Dollars Monthly Subsidy of $ 50