Shaheen Lauds Telecom Companies’ New Affordable High-Speed Internet Plans for Underserved Communities Made Possible by Bipartisan Infrastructure LawMay 09, 2022
**Announcement is a result of broadband provisions included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law in November, of which Shaheen led negotiations with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) on measures to expand broadband access in New Hampshire and across the nation.**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the President and Vice President held an event at the White House to announce twenty U.S. internet providers will offer high-speed connections at virtually no cost for millions of Americans, as part of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) established by the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law last year. As a lead negotiator, Senator Shaheen worked with Senator Collins (R-ME) to create the ACP, which builds on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program by investing $14.2 billion to help working and low-income families access affordable high-speed internet.
Under the ACP, an eligible household that signs up for the program will receive a discount of up to $30/month on any internet service plan a participating provider offers. Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced commitments from 20 internet providers to cut prices and increase speeds for millions of households enrolled in ACP. The companies include some of the largest providers – like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast – as well as smaller providers serving specific regions and rural communities. Together, these companies cover 80% of the U.S. population across urban, suburban and rural areas.
“The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare longstanding issues rural New Hampshire communities and low-income families have faced in obtaining affordable, reliable and high-speed internet access. From school to work to medical appointments, Granite Staters rely on high speed internet to go about their daily lives. Unfortunately, those who can’t afford internet access have been left behind. I was proud to lead negotiations on broadband provisions of the bipartisan infrastructure bill and take what I’ve heard from impacted Granite Staters to get to the source of the problem,” said Shaheen. “This announcement is a big deal and will ensure all households, no matter the income, can afford access to reliable internet. I’m excited for our residents who at long last will gain access to affordable broadband in their homes to ensure they can stay connected, whether that’s with family across the country or their doctor on the other side of town.”
As a lead negotiator of the historic bipartisan infrastructure deal, Shaheen led bipartisan broadband negotiations with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and successfully secured $65 billion to support broadband affordability and deployment across the nation. In February, as chair of the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations subcommittee, Shaheen welcomed Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to testify on the broadband provisions included in the bipartisan infrastructure law, and to address other priorities related to the Department of Commerce’s jurisdiction. During the hearing, Shaheen questioned Secretary Raimondo about anticipated timing for the rollout of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maps that will determine how much funding states are allocated for broadband investments. Shaheen recently joined fellow lawmakers in encouraging the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to quickly implement the bipartisan infrastructure law.
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