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Fuel the economic recovery by closing the great digital divide

Expanding the ability to work remotely, learn remotely, and conduct health care appointments through telehealth will be key steps in permitting economic activity to expand in the second half of 2020, and beyond. Further, a report by the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society shows that connected students are more likely to check their grades, do research, look up class information, and collaborate with peers than unconnected students. But local responses to the pandemic have raised the stakes on differential access to the internet.

Closing the digital divide requires a coalition on reform of the Universal Service Fund

COVID-19 has exacerbated the digital “haves” and “have nots” through remote work, learning, and telehealth, yet our government’s main agency to support greater access and adoption is inadequately funded and functioned to meet this moment. AT&T recently published a blogpost lamenting the rise in contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF) and arguing for funding reform.