News - July 8, 2021

INCOMPAS/BroadLand (VIDEO): The BRIDGE ACT with Senators King and Bennet

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 8, 2021) – INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, released two video interviews today highlighting the bipartisan BRIDGE ACT – introduced by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Angus King (I-ME) and Rob Portman (R-OH) – which calls for building faster speed, future proof networks to both unserved and underserved communities to address the digital divide.

As part of the new INCOMPAS “BroadLand USA” campaign led by former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering, the two video interviews feature Senators King and Bennet detailing why the BRIDGE Act is critical to helping farmers, students and communities of color who have been held back by slower speeds and higher prices for too long.

Core elements of the BRIDGE ACT include building future proof 100/100 symmetrical speed networks to compete with China, the UK and the EU who have set gigabit goals. The BRIDGE Act looks to partner with state and local government to speed the deployment of resources to help both unserved families and underserved communities where old infrastructure is holding back investment and job growth.

In his video, Senator King says:

“The standard should be 100/100. That is what we mean by future proof. I don’t want to rebuild this system 5 or 10 years from now.”

“In the long term the way to deal with affordability is competition. If we simply subsidize people’s cost, eventually the costs are going to go up and the subsidies are not going to be much help. So we need to work structurally, and that is why the BRIDGE Act is important.”

Watch here:

In his video, Senator Bennet says:

I would like to stop subsidizing big telecom companies, who have basically spent $50 billion of the taxpayer’s money, not successfully building out broadband to the American people.”

“Some proposals out there completely miss this next tier of underserved areas, which is a huge mistake because they often have broadband that no expert would consider adequate for what people need in the year 2021.”

Watch here:

INCOMPAS and the BroadLand campaign recently joined with over 170 organizations, including libraries, schools, consumer advocates, rural groups and local leaders to insist Congress make broadband infrastructure based on faster future focused speeds. INCOMPAS also sent a detailed letter to Congress last week, promoting competition that drives affordability and warning against slow speed proposals from the cable industry that are designed to fail. 

Also, ICYMI:  Los Angeles Times Editorial: Close the Digital Divide, But Don't Trap People in the Slow Lane