Enough bars

For me, it is easy to imagine using technology to access healthcare, work remotely, and connect with educational resources. However, many communities near me, both rural and in cities, do not have the easy access to broadband internet that I have enjoyed. This became clear during the public health emergency of the last year. Children had to transition to virtual learning, many workers had to work from home, and health care services transitioned to telehealth wherever possible. Virtual learning, work, and telehealth, however are only successful if the broadband that people rely upon is available.

Broadband connectivity is a policy issue that we must follow and advocate for to close the gap between those who have access and those who do not. Often these gaps match the racial, poverty, and rural divides affecting health equity in our country. At this point in our technical advancements, shouldn’t we work towards all Americans being able to afford and have access to reliable broadband internet services? Doesn’t this only expand our ability to educate, employ, and support our citizens?

Congress is interested in accelerating access to the internet. There are also federal agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that play an important role in high-speed internet projects. In fact, currently, there is an FCC program called the Emergency Broadband Benefit to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We need bipartisan leadership and support to ensure that American have access to the internet for learning, work, and wellness. Please learn more and contact your representatives.

Three things to learn about this week:

  1. Emergency Broadband Benefit
  2. Accelerating Broadband Connectivity Act of 2021
  3. Connect for Health Act of 2021 Summary

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

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