NEW JERSEY – Assemblyman Hal Wirth’s resolution urging Congress to pass the Community Broadband Act of 2019 passed the state Assembly Thursday. If this act passes, local governments would have the ability to explore every available option when deciding how to deliver broadband internet service to residents and businesses.
With access to the internet becoming an essential part of daily life, many people are finding themselves with limited or no broadband access. About 30% of Americans do not have access to broadband internet, Wirths said.
“Congress needs to make access to broadband internet a priority,” Wirths (R-Sussex) said. “This is especially true with the changes we witnessed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic exposed the need for everyone to have access to the internet, whether it’s used for distance learning or working from home. Many people found themselves using telehealth options for the first time as well. With all these factors, I am urging Congress to do the right thing and pass the Community Broadband Act.”
Many towns have taken it upon themselves to establish community broadband Internet networks to deliver fast and reliable internet to their residents. Sadly, some private internet providers have tried to put restrictions on these communities to keep them from establishing a broadband network, Wirths said.
“We need to let the towns decide for themselves when it comes to the best way to provide broadband service to its residents,” Wirths said. “What works in a rural area might not work in an urban setting, but if Congress passes the Community Broadband Act, both areas will have the opportunity to do whatever works best.”
The resolution (AR92) passed with a unanimous vote.