In an effort to expand internet service to residents with little or no access, Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo and Robert Karabinchak sponsor a resolution urging Congress to pass the “Community Broadband Act.”
Community broadband networks are locally owned and developed networks that help connect a certain geographical area to the wider internet. The federal act would prevent state and local governments from blocking public providers or public-private partnership providers from supplying broadband service to communities.
Upon the bipartisan measure (AR-92) being advanced by the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee on Monday, Assemblymen DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex) and Karabinchak (D-Middlesex) issued the following joint statement:
“This pandemic has highlighted the importance of internet access more than ever before. Residents use the internet for everything from working and learning remotely to ordering important supplies they couldn’t get at a nearby store. Yet 30 percent of Americans do not have access to broadband internet in their homes, including many New Jersey residents in urban and rural areas.
“Community broadband networks can help fill this gap by bringing the internet to remote areas where private providers do not want to set up a network and offering competitive rates to residents in other areas who cannot afford a private provider’s service.
“Despite the value of these networks, unfortunately it’s not uncommon for regional governments to prohibit their creation. That is why we urge Congress to pass the ‘Community Broadband Act’ – to prevent state governments from interfering with a community’s decision to explore all internet service options on behalf of its residents.”