The U.S. Senate’s passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will invest $65 billion in our country’s broadband network, is welcome news to the millions of Americans who do not have affordable high-speed internet service. This investment, along with programs that will help low-income and rural households obtain service and devices and a mandate for the Federal Communications Commission adopt rules to prevent digital redlining will provide equal access to education, health care, work and business opportunities that increasingly require broadband internet connections.
In a historic first for federal broadband funding, this agreement also recognizes the importance of ensuring that companies who receive these funds adhere to high labor standards. The proposed legislation, which creates a new state broadband grant fund to expand high-speed internet service, prioritizes broadband projects from entities that have a demonstrated record of and plans to be in compliance with Federal labor and employment laws.
We urge the Senate to continue to make sure that companies that receive federal funds support workers’ rights and to strengthen those rights by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.