Hirono Joins Call for Additional Funds to Boost Internet Connectivity

April 16, 2020, 1:53 PM HST · Updated April 17, 10:57 AM
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US Sen. Mazie Hirono.

US Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaiʻi), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and 25 of their colleagues urged Senate and House leadership to include at least $1 billion for the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program in future coronavirus relief packages.

The Lifeline program extends access to internet and television services to low-income Americans for free or at a reduced cost.

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The Senators sent this letter as tens of millions of Americans are sheltering in place and working from home, attending school online, and relying on telehealth services. As these measures help slow the pandemic, demand for Lifeline services is expected to surge. In the letter, the Senators call for additional funding to improve Lifeline’s services to meet expected demand and better process program applications.

“We urge you to provide additional funding for the Lifeline program in any future Coronavirus relief packages to ensure that Americans can continue to depend on critical assistance when they need it,” the Senators wrote. “As our financial, educational, social, civic, and healthcare needs become more dependent on the internet during this crisis, Congress must commit to ensuring that no one loses connectivity.”

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