New bill seeks an updated vision for the future of broadband access in America
Washington (May 7, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today announced the National Broadband Plan for the Future Act, legislation that instructs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update the National Broadband Plan, as well as study how the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way Americans live, learn, and work online. Senator Markey authored language in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that created the original National Broadband Plan, which set out a comprehensive roadmap for providing universal internet connectivity, while also creating jobs, boosting education, increasing access to medical care, and more. Ten years later, the Senator’s new legislation would require the FCC to assess the nation’s progress, provide detailed proposals to further increase internet access, and analyze how Americans’ unprecedented reliance on broadband during the coronavirus pandemic will shape the country moving forward.
“The National Broadband Plan laid out a vision for connecting all Americans to the internet, and we have made tremendous progress over the last decade,” said Senator Markey. “But the coronavirus pandemic has shown us that our work is far from done to ensure universal connectivity. Now more than ever, we see how necessary robust and affordable broadband is to the future of education, employment, medical care, and commerce in America. We need to update the National Broadband Plan so we can continue to invest in our nation’s future by bringing the power and promise of broadband to us all.”
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
“An update of the 2010 National Broadband Plan is long overdue, and with the COVID Crisis demonstrating the importance of abundant, affordable broadband to economic resiliency and social progress, such an update is also essential,” said Blair Levin, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Former Executive Director of the National Broadband Plan at the FCC. “With this latest legislation, Senator Markey continues to lead in the fight to connect all Americans.”
“Senator Markey’s longstanding leadership on broadband created enormous opportunity – including by connecting schools and libraries through the E-Rate program and with the 2010 National Broadband Plan,” said Karen Kornbluh, Director of the Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative at the German Marshall Fund of the US and Former US Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. “This new Broadband Plan is essential to upgrading the nation’s civic infrastructure and providing all Americans access to the economy of the future.”