Bipartisan Bill Would Goose Broadband Buildouts

New service would need to be online within a year

A bipartisan bill is being introduced that would light a fire under FCC efforts to get broadband to all in the time of COVID-19. 

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), former chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee, are backing H.R. 7022, The Rural Broadband Acceleration Act.  

Related: House Democrats Update Broadband Plan

The bill would direct the FCC to fund “shovel-ready” high-speed broadband buildouts ASAP. 

By ASAP, it means that within a year of freeing up the funds, that access would be available.   

The Congress and FCC are focused on getting as much broadband built out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible given the ongoing need for remote healthcare, education and telework in an age of social distancing that could stretch well into the future. 

Related: FCC Says Digital Divide Continues to Close

A focus on closing the digital divide runs in the Clyburn family. His daughter, Mignon Clyburn, is a former FCC commissioner and chairman who continues to promote affordable connectivity for all.