Lawmakers push for nationwide investment to expand access to reliable broadband internet

Technology

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – In many ways, the coronavirus put a spotlight on inequality. 

As more Americans under stay-at-home orders rely on the internet for work and services, rural communities are at a disadvantage. 

The pandemic is forcing Americans to move online for work, school, even doctor visits, but many people don’t have the reliable internet service that is required. 

“School busses are running in Kern County in my district, not to pick up students but to serve as mobile hotspots. That’s unacceptable,” Representative TJ Cox, D-California, said. 

TJ Cox says students and families in his rural California district have been neglected on investment in broadband internet. 

“Broadband today is last century’s electricity. It’s absolutely necessary,” Cox said. 

House Democrats included $5.5 billion for broadband investment in the HEROES Act. 

While it’s unlikely to pass the Senate, despite wide wide bipartisan support for building broadband infrastructure.

“It’s extremely important for telemedicine, tele-health and as well as education,” Representative Doug LaMalfa, R-California, said. 

Republican Doug LaMalfa supports major broadband improvements for his rural Northern California district.

He says even new farming techniques rely on internet service.

“Production AG, that’s where our food comes from. It’s important for that to happen, so there’s a positive investment for urban people,” LaMalfa said. 

“We have a big rural digital opportunity fund coming up,” Ajit Pai said. 

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, says his agency is putting $20-billion toward connecting millions of rural homes and businesses to high speed internet.  

“The spectrum is there for wireless carriers to extend their reach,” Pai said. 

Though Pai says the FCC’s efforts will be spread out over the next ten years.

LATEST VIDEO

Governor Abbott says water parks can open May 29th 8A live shot

Thumbnail for the video titled "Governor Abbott says water parks can open May 29th 8A live shot"

Congrats Grads: Stafford High School celebrates senior class with digital billboards

Thumbnail for the video titled "Congrats Grads: Stafford High School celebrates senior class with digital billboards"

Six Flags reservation video

Thumbnail for the video titled "Six Flags reservation video"

Macy’s reopens in Houston area for both in-store shopping and curbside

Thumbnail for the video titled "Macy’s reopens in Houston area for both in-store shopping and curbside"

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Man Dies In Police Custody

Thumbnail for the video titled "GRAPHIC VIDEO: Man Dies In Police Custody"

Minneapolis Mayor Reacts About Man Killed In Police Custody

Thumbnail for the video titled "Minneapolis Mayor Reacts About Man Killed In Police Custody"
More Video

Morning Dose

Latest Weather Forecast

More Weather

Days

Hours

Minutes

Seconds

Don't Miss

Latest

More Morning Dose

Popular