Senator Cry Gardner introduced a bill, the Developing Economic Prosperity and Linking Our Youth through Broadband Act (DEPLOY Broadband Act) that would provide $6.5 billion in emergency funding to the FCC to build out broadband services in unserved and rural areas.
Both Republican and Democrat legislators have been noting the need for more money spent on expanding broadband access, as the pandemic has made the digital divide more apparent than ever. Those in unserved and underserved areas need access to reliable internet service as many adults continue to work from home and kids face the possibility of extended virtual learning for the next school year.
This health crisis has laid bare the digital divide that exists in many of our rural communities. It’s estimated that more than 65,000 students in Colorado live in homes without any internet access, roughly eight percent of Colorado’s entire student population,” said Gardner. “That’s not acceptable with so many relying on broadband to receive an education, telecommute, and access healthcare. This legislation will dedicate immediate funding to build out rural broadband in unserved and rural areas throughout Colorado and the country and ensure there is a permanent allocation for rural broadband into the future.”
The bill was introduced on July 23.
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Jess Barnes attended Edinboro University and spent years working in nonprofit before taking up freelance writing in 2012. Jess has been working for Cord Cutters News since 2017.