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Monday, November 15, 2021

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC Applauds Inclusion of Expanded Broadband Access for Underserved Communities in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC Applauds Inclusion of Expanded Broadband Access for Underserved Communities in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Washington, D.C.—President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed last week in Congress. The bill includes investments in America’s roads and bridges and increases access to broadband internet, marking the largest investment in American infrastructure in more than a decade.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC issues the following statement:

“We applaud the passage and signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will provide critical resources and services to Asian American and other underserved communities. The infrastructure package includes $40 billion for broadband deployment and $14.2 billion for broadband affordability measures which will continue to fund a broadband subsidy for qualifying households. This funding is a crucial part of bridging the digital divide by providing much needed improvements to broadband infrastructure, lowering the cost of high quality internet, and providing more opportunities for underserved communities to access digital services and resources.

The pandemic has demonstrated how critical internet access is for communities to be able to survive and thrive. High quality and reliable broadband is necessary to keep immigrant families connected to their in-language communities both in the U.S. and abroad, provide the elderly with more accessible health care, give students access to English as a Second Language homework assistance and other learning programs, and connect refugee populations to job training programs. Many jobs and opportunities will remain remote and only accessible online, health services will be made more affordable and easy to schedule online, and special programming that has been developed for youth, the elderly, and others will continue to take place online. Broadband access and online services were essential before the pandemic, and communities expect to rely even more heavily on technology and remote solutions after the pandemic subsides.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will go a long way to ensure the benefits of online connections can be made accessible to all, especially low-income households who can benefit from tremendous opportunities and resources if they are able to gain access. Advancing Justice – AAJC will work to ensure the resources are allocated accordingly and continue to advocate to bridge the digital divide in our communities.” 

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