Senator Klobuchar has broadband on radar for 2019

The Duluth New Tribune published a letter from Senator Amy Klobuchar…

To accommodate a 21st-century workforce, we need to make sure we have 21st-century infrastructure. That’s why I’ve been working with Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on a number of priority projects to strengthen safety, ease congestion, and improve mobility — like the recently-announced $20 million grant to reconstruct the Twin Ports Interchange in Duluth and the more than $10 million in investment this year to modernize and expand the Duluth International Airport.

No serious infrastructure plan is complete without addressing broadband expansion. There is strong bipartisan support for including broadband funding in any infrastructure package, and that’s good news.

In communities that have access to broadband, we’ve seen life-changing results. Like Essentia Health’s Virginia clinic, which has begun connecting patients with health services through the internet. Instead of spending hours traveling by car, people who need to see a doctor can now head to the local clinic and with the click of a mouse find themselves face to face with medical specialists from around the state.

As we expand access to broadband, we must also do more to protect people’s data online. Going into the new Congress, I will continue to push for privacy protections like those in my bipartisan bill with Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, which requires tech companies like Google and Facebook to use plain language when explaining how consumer data will be used while also allowing people to opt out of having their data collected altogether. And if there’s a security breach, it would require these companies to tell all consumers within 72 hours and provide those affected with solutions to protect them from identity theft.

We also need to pass my Honest Ads Act to shine light on dark money online. Right now if a political ad runs on a TV station in Duluth, that station has to disclose who purchased the ad. There’s currently no similar requirement for online ads. My legislation would require this disclosure and help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political ads.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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