Reps. Eshoo, Golden and Senator Booker Gain Widespread Support From 45 Groups for Bill to Expand Community Broadband

May 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Jared Golden (D-ME) and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced that 45 groups representing consumers, civil rights, industry, municipalities, and utilities are supporting the Community Broadband Act, legislation that will empower local communities to ensure their residents have broadband access by removing roadblocks for public-private partnerships and locally-owned broadband systems.

“The overwhelming support of this bill demonstrates that internet access is no longer considered a luxury product. It’s a necessity required to work, to learn, to stay up-to-date on public health guidelines, and connect with loved ones,” said Rep. Eshoo. “I’m proud that this legislation has gained the recognition it deserves and I’m hopeful we can get it passed and signed into law. It’s past time Congress bridges the digital divide and ensures every household, regardless of zip code, has reliable, high-speed service.”

“During this pandemic, millions of students and their families have found themselves forced to work and learn remotely, and those without high-speed internet access have been put at a severe disadvantage,” said Senator Booker. “As this critical legislation gains momentum, we must continually remind ourselves that broadband internet access is a basic necessity, and we must ensure that all communities throughout our nation can access it. I thank these organizations for supporting the Community Broadband Act and bringing this important issue to light. This legislation will help give local governments the necessary flexibility to meet the needs of their residents by removing onerous barriers to creating more municipal broadband networks and expanding access to the internet for every community.”

The Community Broadband Act is supported by the following organizations:

  • National League of Cities
  • Consumer Reports
  • United States Conference of Mayors
  • National Hispanic Media Coalition
  • Fiber Broadband Association
  • American Public Power Association
  • Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition
  • Consumer Federation of America
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Urban League
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Mozilla
  • Common Cause
  • Google
  • National Consumer Law Center
  • New America’s Open Technology Institute
  • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
  • Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association
  • Public Knowledge
  • Institute for Local Self-Reliance
  • Center on Rural Innovation
  • Next Century Cities
  • National Digital Inclusion Alliance
  • Coalition for Local Internet Choice
  • Open Markets Institute
  • Common Sense Media
  • Free Press Action
  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Internet Society
  • Access Now
  • X-Lab
  • MediaJustice
  • The Alliance for Community Media
  • Utilities Technology Council
  • National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
  • Next Level Networks, Inc.
  • Michigan Municipal League
  • Association of Idaho Cities
  • Michigan Broadband Alliance
  • Imagine Idaho Action
  • Airspan Networks
  • Southern Tier Network
  • Accelerator for America

There are over 900 communities across the U.S. that have deployed community broadband networks, but there are 22 states that have enacted laws restricting such networks. These state laws shield entrenched companies from competition and harm consumers. The Community Broadband Act simply prohibits state laws that ban or limit broadband systems administered by municipalities, co-ops, Tribes, or public-private partnerships.