One glimmer of hope from the pandemic: The Universal Service Fund (USF), the government fund designed to make sure everyone in the United States is digitally connected, finally may get an overdue overhaul. While lawmakers and policymakers long have recognized the need for a rebuild, the pandemic made it clear that reform no longer can wait.
On the morning of Februaru 23, millions who depend on a 3G wireless connected device for medical emergencies, fires, burglaries or carbon monoxide detection will find their lives needlessly at risk. These devices will not work when AT&T shuts down its 3G network on February 22, threatening tens of millions of people relying on them in their homes and businesses. Known as the 3G sunset, those affected include hundreds of thousands of people who have personal emergency response systems (PERS).