Dr. Jill Biden Promises Support For Universal Broadband Access — “Joe Is Listening”

Dr. Jill Biden responded Wednesday to a call for her husband to support affordable high-speed internet access. She says that she’s on it, and agrees that broadband should be accessible to all families and students. Her husband’s platform reflects this need.

Jill Biden Broadand access promise
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]

Last month, Dr. Biden asked the public to weigh in on education in the time of COVID-19. “If you’re an educator with a story about going back to school during COVID-19, I want to hear it,” she invited. She’s still responding to some of the stories and inquiries from that time.

On Wednesday, she responded to an educator who asked her to advocate for affordable high-speed internet service for all families. When schools and students were thrust into distance learning at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, this was a major stumbling block, since many students don’t have internet access at home.

Dr. Biden promised to address the issue and said that her husband is listening.

Joe Biden has already included universal broadband access in his platform, bringing it up as a part of his clean energy and sustainable infrastructureplan.

Biden will make far-reaching investments in…infrastructure [to] create millions of good, union jobs rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure – from roads and bridges to green spaces and water systems to electricity grids and universal broadband – to lay a new foundation for sustainable growth, compete in the global economy, withstand the impacts of climate change, and improve public health, including access to clean air and clean water.

While lack of access to the internet has long been a struggle for lower-income students and students in rural areas, the pandemic and sudden necessity of distance learning made the problem more stark, as The Verge reported earlier this year, with just over half of households with incomes under $30k having internet access at home. Schools have worked to lend families mobile hotspots, along with laptops or tablets and other devices to get kids access, but there are still students lost in no-coverage zones, students who must share a device and connection with siblings, and students who are otherwise still left out in the tech gap.

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