Veterans to Get Help with Broadband Internet Access

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A recent Public Notice from the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau seeks information and data that will form the basis of a report to Congress “on promoting broadband Internet access service” for our country’s military veterans. This report is required by the RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018, which puts a particular emphasis on broadband for low income veterans, and those living in rural areas.
The FCC is soliciting comments “on how to promote broadband deployment and adoption among veterans,” and how it and “other federal agencies such as U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (can) encourage collaboration, partnership and best practices” to meet these deployment and adoption goals.
The Commission is also asking for information to enable it to “understand the particular broadband needs of veterans and the benefits that broadband provides” to them. “Specifically,” according to the public notice, “we seek comment on veterans’ use of and need for broadband for health care.” Also included are how broadband internet access might be helpful in finding employment, job training, and educational opportunities.
In the third major leg of its notice, the FCC is soliciting “the best data and information sources,” including “objective, publicly available data…studies or other sources of information focused on veterans and broadband.” It asks for “information, reports, white papers, statistics and any other data concerning veterans and broadband.”
We applaud the RAY BAUM’S Act and the Commission’s Public Notice of September 12th to begin the process of assisting our brave veterans with their broadband needs. And we urge every carrier that has any of the requested information to provide it to the FCC by the due date of October 12th.
Our military veterans have made real sacrifices, and in many cases put their lives on the line, so that the rest of us can live in this free and great nation. This is a good start toward giving them at least a small thank you for their service to America.