Sinema’s letter follows bipartisan legislation she supports that helps students in rural Arizona access online education resources during the coronavirus pandemic.
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema wrote Congressional leaders urging them to include broadband funding in future coronavirus relief packages to help students in rural Arizona continue accessing educational resources during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Expanding broadband for rural communities ensures every Arizona student gets equal access to education during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sinema.
Read Sinema’s full letter HERE.
Sinema’s letter follows her support of the Keeping Critical Connections Act, which appropriates $2 billion for a “Keeping Critical Connections” fund at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), allowing small broadband providers—those with fewer than 250,000 customers—to be compensated for providing free or discounted broadband services during the pandemic for low-income families and students. The Sinema-backed bipartisan legislation would help provide critical broadband services to rural communities during the COVID-19 national emergency.
Arizona public schools and universities will be closed for the remainder of the semester and have transitioned to online classes. Many Arizonans in rural areas do not have internet access at home, which threatens their access to public education.
According to the FCC, over 20 million Americans lack access to quality internet at home, including as many as 12 million children. This includes tribal communities, where 36% of households lack access to broadband. Internet access is a necessity during this crisis, and the Sinema-backed bipartisan bill ensures that Arizonans in rural areas have equal access to education and communication networks throughout this national emergency.
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.