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Senator Wyden urges the government to reinforce broadband goals

Although the government is committed to helping expand high-speed broadband access in communities that need it, officials will expand the eligibility criteria, according to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). President Joe Biden the U.S. Rescue Plan Act went into effect in March. It directs the Treasury Department to distribute billions of dollars in stimulus funding to local and state governments.

Those funds can be used to improve broadband access, but the project severely limits the eligibility criteria for such projects. The bill says only communities without or without services can use federal funding to improve broadband access, such as note. According to the Federal Communications Commission, communities with internet speed and 3 Mbps up are underperforming. This definition has been the same since 2015.

Wyden says those speeds aren’t fast enough for current needs, calling that benchmark “unfortunately obsolete.” He wants communities where speeds are less than 100 Mbps above and below to be classified as poorly serviced and to be eligible for the upgraded internet infrastructure in this plan.

“The massive adoption of video calling, streaming and other intensive bandwidth apps by Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that poor speeds and data limitations are holding back teleworking, remote education and the ability to teleport, ”Wyden wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. “Simply put, it’s not possible for a family of four to do teleworking and engage in a remote school while sharing 3 Mbps upload bandwidth.”

Wyden went on to argue that a failure to address the concerns “will further widen the digital divide and jeopardize our ability as a nation to better recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. So when you finalize the Fund’s Final Rule of State and Local Coronavirus Tax Recovery, urgent [Yellen] to clarify that underlying locations are included in any accessible location, reliable broadband of at least 100 Mbps symmetry is not available. Wyden added that “to be accessible, broadband must also be accessible.”

Other lawmakers have pushed the FCC to upgrade the definition of high-speed broadband to 100 Mbps up and down. Earlier this month, California announced a budget plan that , noting that “service at speeds below 100 Mbps is not enough for families struggling with the demands of distance learning, teleworking, and accessing online health care.”

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