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Frye: Congress Should Invest in Broadband

The past 18 months have been hard on everybody. They’ve been especially hard on folks who live where they can’t get reliable internet, or perhaps any internet. Which means everything from kids losing a year of school to parents losing jobs because they can’t “go remote,” not to mention lost access to all kinds of services, including religious services, especially for folks who have trouble getting around. 

In 2021, uninterrupted internet access from home is almost as important as uninterrupted water and power, which we assume every home in America should have. It can now make or break a family’s educational and economic future. That’s why it’s critically important that the U.S. House of Representatives pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act now.

This long overdue measure builds high-speed internet out into rural areas and small towns, and ensures that everyone there and in cities can have access at all income levels. The Affordable Connectivity program alone could help link more than 30% of Georgia households with reliable internet providers. And the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will support digital literacy training, so folks getting onto the net will understand how it works and how to stay safe.

This one act will bring millions of Americans permanently online, and that will mean better education, better jobs, even better health for millions of families, together with the economic boost that comes from all that. It’s an investment that’s expected to have a positive net return.

For all those reasons and more, U.S. House leadership must get behind the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and take steps urgently to pass it. The entire country will be better off for it.

Frye is the state representative for District 118 in Athens.


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