We need to make sure our children can continue their education by participating in distance learning with internet access at home.
That’s why — after the announcement that K-12 schools would be closed in response to the pandemic — I worked with Sen. Tina Smith to urge the Federal Communications Commission chairman to ensure that all K-12 students in our state have access to high-speed internet so they can access online learning.
I also introduced legislation with North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer — the Keeping Critical Connections Act — to help small broadband providers continue to provide internet services for students and low-income families in rural areas. This legislation would create a $2 billion fund at the FCC that would help these families remain connected to their school, work and communities.
I’ve always believed that when we invest infrastructure like broadband, we invest in opportunity for every American and help to bridge the digital divide.
My bipartisan legislation to improve the accuracy of the FCC’s broadband availability maps was signed into law last month. This bill is an important step forward in helping us to determine where broadband is available across the country. Our students and families need reliable broadband services so they can continue working and learning during this time.
But there is more work to do and I will continue to press for additional funding so that all students can access the internet at home, regardless of their ZIP code.
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