A coalition including broadband heavyweights AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon is asking Congress and President Joe Biden to build off the recent $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit and craft “a long-term federally-funded broadband benefit program that the [Federal Communications Commission] would manage and administer to provide low-income individuals with enhanced fi
White House officials met privately with the CEOs of trade groups representing smaller internet service providers: America's Communications Association, the Competitive Carriers Association, NTCA, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Rural Wireless Association and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association. Although some bigger ISPs balk at Biden’s proposal, these smaller trade groups have been playing a more carefu
A House Commerce hearing on March 22 showcased tense partisan divisions over potential broadband infrastructure fixes. The sparring comes as Biden’s advisers eye up to $3 trillion in proposed economic boosts that could be split across multiple packages and would include explicit broadband and 5G provisions.
Senate Democrats aren’t setting aside quite as much money as their House counterparts for Federal Communications Commission online learning efforts, according to the latest legislative text for the $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package. Although House Democrats had wanted $7.6 billion in FCC funding, the Senate version includes just $7.17 billion. Senators are gearing up for final votes on the bill soon.
Lawmakers and industry groups are jockeying to shape the broadband internet investments likely to be embedded in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure efforts. Senior Democrats like House Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) are eyeing a revival of their $100 billion package aimed at connecting the unconnected and funding programs to bolster digital equity, which is likely to take center stage in coming weeks. But Republicans, bless their hearts, bristle over bigger price tags and instead point to less costly ways to close the digital divide.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) officially became the first woman to chair the Senate Commerce Committee, and she pledged to use the gavel to work on improving diversity in STEM fields. "To my fellow colleagues, all of you but particularly the women, I hope that we can do a better job on strategies to help women in the workforce, particularly in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math," she said.
Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) wants to see Congress wrap serious money expanding the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate subsidy program into its next pandemic relief package — a key delineation as Democrats plot out both pandemic aid and subsequent infrastructure legislative goals. Sen Markey said this would be distinct from Democrats’ more comprehensive digital ambitions, which would come later, as part of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure deal-making.