Federal Legislation

In a sign that lawmakers are starting to develop national policies to support the buildout of affordable, high-speed internet access, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) is introducing the Connected Nation Act of 2007.
Encouraging signs are coming from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has announced her intention to move forward on a set of programs called the "Innovation Agenda."
Last month, Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL, hosted a Regional Broadband Summit in Central Illinois to discuss the importance of universal internet access in his state. He announced that soon he will introduce legislation in the U.S. Senate to spur a national effort to provide high speed internet access to underserved areas.
Sen. Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Technology, held a hearing March 1 to discuss reforms to the Universal Service Fund, the multi-billion dollar program to expand phone service to underserved areas.
The Alliance for Public Technology, an organization devoted to promoting fast and affordable internet access for all, has published an in-depth report on the need for universal high-speed internet. In the report, APT makes the crucial distinction that high speed is "no longer a convenience but an essential part of life" underscoring the insufficiencies of current national policies.
In response to President Bush's budget, Minnesota's new Senator, Amy Klobuchar, decried cuts to a program providing loans to assist communities in creating Internet infrastructure.
As the new chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is among the most important political leaders in Washington when it comes to improving our nation's Internet policies. A recent article in The Hill shows he's out front on these issues, pointing out the need for "a comprehensive national strategy" of high-speed Internet access.
Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J. Copps writes an op-ed for the Washington Post, demanding action on a national broadband Internet policy.
This past September, at the tail end of the legislative session, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) introduced a landmark bill to expand our high speed internet infrastructure: Rural Broadband Initiative Act of 2006.