RuralOrganizing.org Statement In Response to Action by the Biden Administration to Make High Speed Internet More Affordable
The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org:
For years, we’ve heard politicians in Washington talk about the need to deliver broadband to rural America.. But, until now, there has been little federal action to ensure rural people have affordable, high speed access to the digital economy. Yesterday, we heard the President of the United States make good on his promises and his words were especially relevant for rural communities in our country: "High-speed internet service is no longer a luxury — it's a necessity,"
Since January of 2021, we’ve seen an unprecedented focus on delivering access to high speed broadband to the American people, particularly those of us living in rural towns. The American Rescue Plan Act provided $10 billion for a state broadband program to build out high-speed internet. Additionally, a new $2 billion county and Tribal assistance fund is added to make payments to eligible revenue-sharing counties and Tribes.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act also made a multi billion dollar commitment to expanding and improving broadband access. Importantly, as President Biden explained yesterday, that law provided funds that addressed another important element: affordability. The Affordable Connectivity Program, which is administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), makes qualifying families eligible for a $30 monthly credit. The President noted that 40 percent of the households in America qualify. It’s likely higher in rural communities as it’s no secret that poverty rates are higher in non-metro parts of our country.
Access and affordability matter to families across the country. And, after years of lip service from Republicans about rural concerns, we’re finally seeing concrete actions from Democrats that will improve the lives of people in our communities.
“The mission of RuralOrganizing.org is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.”