August 06, 2020

Manchin, Cornyn Bill To Expand Hotspots For Education, Telehealth Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Cornyn (R-TX) today introduced the bipartisan Accelerating Connected Care and Education Support Services on the Internet (ACCESS the Internet) Act to expand reliable broadband access for education and telehealth appointments for rural America during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACCESS the Internet Act provides funding for the Education Stabilization Fund, hotspots through libraries, and telehealth services through the FCC and VA.

“The current COVID-19 pandemic has shone a new light on the broadband issues in West Virginia and across rural America. Americans and West Virginians have had to adjust to a new way of working, learning, and living from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for most people, this change relies on accessible, reliable broadband which many rural Americans do not have,” Senator Manchin said. “Today my bipartisan colleague and I introduced the ACCESS the Internet Act to provide $2 billion in dedicated funding across the government to help with broadband access and connectivity. This commonsense bill could help our children, Veterans, and families access reliable broadband to pay their bills, complete their homework, and keep up with doctor’s appointments. Without this access, over 400,000 West Virginians could fall behind and that is just unacceptable. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to include this language in future COVID-19 relief package.”

“Half a million households in Texas don’t have access to broadband internet, making it impossible to learn and work remotely during a pandemic,” said Senator Cornyn. “By providing dedicated funding to schools, libraries, healthcare providers, and the VA, we can make internet access a reality for more low-income and rural Texans.”

Background information on the ACCESS the Internet Act can be found here