PITTSBURGH, December 21, 2020 – ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement on the new bipartisan legislation by Congress designed to help millions of Americans recover from the COVID-19 crisis by facilitating access to broadband Internet service, among other things:
“The COVID emergency has highlighted both the value and importance of broadband connectivity and that all Americans must have access to such service during the emergency and beyond.
“It is for that reason that ACA Connects urged Congress in the COVID emergency legislation to direct support to help in-need individuals obtain such connectivity, and we commend Congress for adopting this approach.
“By providing $3.2 billion in direct support for broadband connectivity for low-income families, as well new stimulus checks and additional unemployment assistance, Congress will help Americans stay connected for the months ahead to the reliable, robust broadband connectivity that ACA Connects members and others provide.
“This new funding can make a significant contribution to the ongoing efforts of our members since the start of the emergency to connect, and keep connected, everyone in their communities. But it is critical that the FCC implements the law by adopting rules that facilitate participation by these smaller broadband providers, who today provide service to some 10 million households in more rural areas, many of which have been severely impacted by the COVID emergency.
“ACA Connects looks forward to working with the FCC to achieve this goal.”
About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their businesses. For more information, visit: http://www.ACAConnects.org