March 24, 2020

Young Bill to Help Sustain Rural Broadband Connectivity During Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) today joined a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce the Keeping Critical Connections Act, which would help small broadband providers ensure rural broadband connectivity for students and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.


“Students and teachers across Indiana are struggling to complete e-learning days with broadband connections that are unreliable at best,” said Senator Young. “I’ve joined this bipartisan bill to improve remote learning for Hoosier students and telehealth for seniors most at risk during coronavirus.”


The Keeping Critical Connections Act would appropriate $2 billion for a Keeping Critical Connections fund at the FCC under which small broadband providers with fewer than 250,000 customers could be compensated for broadband services—if they provided free or discounted broadband services or upgrades—during the pandemic for low-income families who could not afford to pay their bills or provided distance learning capability for students. The bill is endorsed by NTCA—the Rural Broadband Association, WTA – Advocates for Rural Broadband, Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), and the Indiana Rural Broadband Association.  


Alan Terrell, President of the Indiana Rural Broadband Association said, “Our Indiana companies stand in support of the proposed Keep Critical Connections Act to ensure that Americans remain connected during this crisis. We remain confident in our ability to provide safe and reliable service to our customers. We are prepared to keep our facilities up and running so our customers can focus on their own lives and caring for their families and their businesses. Indiana.”