Congress must enact broadband equity for low-income families

Robert E. Branson

Robert Branson

This opinion column was submitted by Robert E. Branson, esq., president and CEO of the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council.

Each of us has sacrificed, or lost, something during the pandemic. To keep our communities safe, we’ve sacrificed precious time — more than a year’s worth — of in-person celebrations and the everyday connections that come with going to work, attending school, visiting your health care provider or even simple pleasures like travel, sporting events or a trip to the movies. Many of us lost dear friends, family members and neighbors.

For low-wage frontline workers, who are disproportionately represented by people of color and other minority groups, the pandemic exacerbated a series of pre-existing challenges to an untenable degree. Millions of low-income people still don’t have home broadband connections, computers or the digital skills needed to navigate them well.