June 24, 2020
Today, the House Rural Broadband Task Force introduced the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, a comprehensive bill that would make internet service more accessible and affordable. Among other things, the bill would:
- Create a $50 monthly broadband subsidy to help low-income people connect;
- Require ISPs to report data on the price of internet service;
- Require the FCC to promote a “broadband nutrition label” that clearly displays the price and service terms of consumer internet contracts;
- Legalize municipal broadband networks in all 50 states;
- Implement a federal “Dig Once” policy to promote broadband deployment;
- Create a federal investment fund for broadband deployment; and
- End the FCC’s regulatory war on the Lifeline program.
Earlier this week, House Democrats introduced the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), an infrastructure bill that also includes these broadband provisions. OTI has repeatedly asked Congress and the FCC to enact these policies. OTI is also a longstanding proponent of municipal broadband, consumer transparency, and the Lifeline program.
The following quote can be attributed to Joshua Stager, senior counsel for New America’s Open Technology Institute:
“OTI is proud to support this bill, which would make internet service more accessible and affordable during COVID-19 and beyond. The bill would also end the FCC's regulatory war on Lifeline, remove barriers to municipal broadband networks, and make internet pricing transparent for the first time. These are all long overdue steps that would help millions of people. We applaud the Task Force for their work and urge Congress to pass this bill.”