Rasoul introduces plan to cut broadband Internet prices, expand access
Roanoke Del. Sam Rasoul this week announced a plan to cut broadband prices while increasing access and reigning in corporate telecoms’ influence in Richmond.
More than 697,000 Virginians don’t have broadband internet in their home due to a lack of infrastructure or the high cost, and COVID-19 made the need for equitable access to affordable broadband more urgent. Workers without a reliable internet connection in the home don’t have opportunities to work from home, and their children are falling behind their classmates in school who have broadband at home.
Rasoul’s plan includes:
- Requiring big telecoms to offer an affordable Basic Plan
- Free broadband for low-income public housing residents
- Banning campaign donations from big telecoms
- Ending the monopolistic status quo by empowering localities and co-ops to build public and independent alternatives
- Collecting accurate data on who has broadband access
- Expanding state broadband grant programs for locally-owned networks
- Allowing local governments to issue bondsto build the networks
Read the full plan on Rasoul’s website.
“Broadband access means two things: Infrastructure and affordability. The internet must be treated like a necessary utility, not a profit-making machine for a few giant telecom corporations,” said Rasoul, a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for lieutenant governor. “This plan frees Virginians from the telecom lobby’s powerful influence, creates new economic opportunity by expanding infrastructure, and helps to close the digital divide for low-income and rural residents who previously couldn’t work or learn from home.”