Separately, House Democratic leadership today unveiled a $3 trillion relief package that includes at least $4 billion for an “emergency broadband connectivity fund.” That money, if approved, would be given to ISPs that provide discounts to low-income households and people who lose their jobs. Subsidies would be up to $50 a month for most low-income households and up to $75 for households in tribal areas. Another $1.5 billion would be allotted to Wi-Fi hotspots and other telecom equipment for schools and libraries. The relief package also includes a provision that “prohibits telephone and broadband service providers from stopping service to consumers unable to pay during the duration of the emergency,” according to House Democrats.
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A proposed U.S. law would make it illegal for telecom providers to terminate Internet or phone service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill was submitted in the Senate today by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). “Now — as millions of Americans hunker down, work from home, and engage in remote learning — would be the absolute worst time for Americans to lose a critical utility like Internet service,” Merkley said in an announcement.