This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Moving Forward Act, legislation proposed by House Democrats that would, among other infrastructure improvements, invest significantly in our nation’s broadband access. Broadband access and adoption has long been a problem for people in the U.S. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that problem worse as more people, and particularly communities of color, lack entirely or can no longer afford a broadband connection.
The Moving Forward Act would invest $100 billion to deliver high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved rural, suburban, and urban communities, with a particular focus on communities facing persistent poverty. The bill also aims to improve the Lifeline program at the Federal Communications Commission and invest in digital literacy.
“This legislation would comprehensively tackle many of the systemic issues that have led to inequitable access to broadband in the United States,” said Eric Null, U.S. Policy Manager at Access Now. “By improving the broadband competitive landscape and investing in the people who need it, we could make serious progress toward closing the digital divide. Without this investment, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over again, leaving low-income and marginalized communities behind.”