WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, participated in a committee hearing today titled, The State of Broadband Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. Senator Capito’s questions focused on how the lack of reliable, affordable broadband is affecting rural America now that individuals from these communities are working and studying from home due to the pandemic.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have heard from constituents across my state about the challenges they have been facing with a slow or non-existent internet connection. These issues have ranged from constituents without cell phone service, others without internet, or not having access to their landline phone. As you can imagine, this is making the worrisome time we are in even more difficult,” Senator Capito said.
Last week, Senator Capito participated in another Commerce Committee hearing focused on examining the current status of the aviation industry during the coronavirus pandemic. The hearing also examined the implementation of the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed and President Trump signed into law.
Co-chairman of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus, Senator Capito remains dedicated to better connecting West Virginia. In May 2015, Senator Capito introduced her Capito Connect Plan—one of her first initiatives as a United States Senator— to provide a roadmap for bringing affordable, high-speed internet access to homes, businesses, and classrooms in West Virginia.
Last week, Senator Capito continued to build on her work to better connect West Virginia and rural America by introducing the Eliminating Barriers to Rural Internet Development Grant Eligibility (E-BRIDGE) Act. This legislation would remove obstacles for broadband projects to receive Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants. Specifically, the legislation would ensure local communities would be able to partner with the private sector and give communities more flexibility in complying with their funding match requirements. Click here to learn more about Senator Capito’s broadband efforts, including her Capito Connect Plan.
Senator Capito launched a page on her website to help bring current and accurate information to West Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click HERE to access the webpage for the latest updates and resources.
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