Rural residents in Northern Michigan and the UP may be eligible for assistance with internet costs.
Broadband is vital infrastructure for people's lives and livelihoods — work, online healthcare, education, lifelong learning, and enjoyment. While on the campaign trail, I still hear how people are affected by the lack of broadband and its impact on their lives.
Forty-two million Americans lack broadband access due to unaffordability, lack of financial assistance awareness, or unavailability.
Half of US households pay between $60 and $90 monthly for internet service, an issue for low-income households.
One-third of eligible individuals are aware of and enrolled in government financial assistance programs. The FCC is investing billions into improving access and affordability.
Even though my opponent, Rep. Jack Bergman voted against the bill that funds a new connectivity program, citizens can visit the Affordable Connectivity Program | Federal Communications Commission to apply for broadband assistance. A family of four with a household income of less than $60,000 would qualify.
The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.
Rural areas, including tribal lands, face challenges with the affordability and availability of broadband infrastructure, particularly with the "last mile" connection to households.
There is a concern that Congress may reduce funding for broadband along with cuts to essential programs like nutritional assistance, childcare, and healthcare.
My opponent, Rep. Jack Bergman has voted against rural broadband more than once and often refers to federal social investments as "worthless government spending."
As your next Representative, I won't stop fighting for connectivity in our rural communities and throughout the US.