172 Organizations Call on Congress to Increase Broadband Speeds with Future Proof Fiber

From the Fiber Broadband Association, you can get the meat of the letter below and the details, including list of signatures on the PDF

Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, and Minority
Leader McCarthy:
We urge Congress to provide full funding to universally build networks that will deliver capacity that will meet local needs for decades and to ensure rigorous scrutiny of recipients of federal dollars so that the program achieves the legislation’s future-proof goals. It is time to act to end
the digital divide forever by passing a national broadband infrastructure program that will deliver universal, affordable, 21st century ready access.
Eighty-five years ago, Congress passed the Rural Electrification Act to connect American homes
with electricity. Through decisive government action, universal access to electricity was delivered. That decision changed the lives of Americans by giving them an opportunity to participate in the modern world. It also helped bind America together, bridging a distinct divide
that existed in the country. Today, Congress can demonstrate the vision that its predecessors showed decades ago by connecting every American with the 21st Century equivalent of electricity – broadband.
All across the nation, gaps in accessible and affordable broadband connectivity due to a lack of infrastructure capable of meeting today’s and tomorrow’s communications needs have clearly been demonstrated. In fact, it is reported that 35% of rural Americans do not have access to broadband from any provider. Millions more, including low-income urban neighborhoods, may have rudimentary access but at speeds too slow, too unreliable, and too expensive to accommodate distance learning, telehealth, or working from home – now essential requirements in today’s economy. As a result, community anchor institutions – such as libraries, rural health
clinics, community centers and houses of worship – often have trouble obtaining the high-speed broadband they need to bring education, information and telemedicine to the residents of their communities.
21st century broadband, far above the 2015 FCC standard of 25/3 Mbps, is a necessity for all communities demanding modern services to help overcome the challenge of distance, attract new businesses, and provide young workers good paying jobs. Any new federal program must fund broadband infrastructure capable of enabling businesses to meet the needs of consumers, empower businesses to relocate to any community, provide opportunities for teleworkers and students at the same level regardless of geography, enable anchor institutions to fully provide for
their entire communities, and make possible precision agriculture capabilities for agriculture producers to improve efficiencies.
The United States met the challenge of electrifying America in the last century with an audacious plan we take for granted today. A similarly bold approach is needed to build universally available broadband infrastructure fully capable of supporting all communications technology
needs and meet ever rising demand for bandwidth. A federal program by Congress that emphasizes delivering future-proof infrastructure can enable not just ubiquitous fiber wireline access, but also make possible ubiquitous wireless services that rely on fiber optics including 5G,
next generation Wi-Fi, and their future iterations.

This entry was posted in 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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