Senator Reverend Warnock Applauds Emergency Broadband Benefit Program for Expanding Broadband Affordability in Georgia, Leads Charge to Expand Access to Rural Georgians With Limited, No Connectivity

The new Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program gives low-income Americans up to $50/month to subsidize cost of broadband
Nearly 100,000 households from Georgia have signed up, totaling up to $5M in broadband benefits for Georgians per month
Senator Reverend Warnock: “All Georgians—regardless of income or zip code—should have reliable access to broadband to remain connected to their school, their job, and their community. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program gets us closer to that goal.”
Senator Reverend Warnock and Senate colleagues: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more apparent that affordable and reliable broadband is critical to accessing education, health care, and other essential services. Yet millions of households remain unconnected either because broadband infrastructure has not been built to their homes or the price of broadband services is out of reach for them.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) celebrated the up to $5 million in federal funding headed to Georgia households to subsidize the cost of broadband internet, ensuring Georgia households can fully participate in their local communities and economies. This week, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB) enrolled over 2.3 million households into the subsidy program initiated by Congress, including nearly 100,000 households in Georgia. Since mid-May, households in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and American Samoa were approved to receive a discount on their monthly internet bills and have selected a participating EBB provider to receive internet service at home. Senator Warnock continues to fulfill his campaign promise to prioritize and fight for rural broadband expansion—from emphasizing the need for reliable broadband internet infrastructure in rural communities like Waverly Hall, GA during a visit last month to WavCom, a rural broadband provider in the area, to cosponsoring the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, which would expand the EBB and authorize additional funding to deploy high-speed broadband infrastructure.

“Access to broadband has become an indispensable utility expense for households across Georgia, especially following this once-in-a-century pandemic as we have become even more dependent on internet access while gathering, learning and working virtually,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “All Georgians—regardless of income or zip code—should have reliable access to broadband to remain connected to their school, their job, and their community. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program gets us closer to that goal with nearly 100,000 Georgia households enrolling in just the first 3 weeks of the program, and I’m going to keep fighting to expand broadband access to Georgians in every community in our state.”

“Connecting Americans to broadband and closing the digital divide is central to what we do, and we are pleased to make the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program available to our customers in Georgia,” said President of AT&T Georgia Venessa Harrison. “This critical relief is providing needed connectivity for many low-income households.”

“In three short weeks, millions of households enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program—with almost 100,000 households in Georgia alone. The high level of interest we’ve seen in the program wouldn’t be possible without the support and leadership of trusted community voices like Senator Warnock. By working together, we will continue to connect more Georgia families to the support they need to get online and stay connected. We’re just getting started. I am grateful for Senator Warnock’s continued commitment to getting every American the help they need to be successful in the digital age,” said Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

Senator Warnock has been a vocal proponent for prioritizing broadband expansion, including in rural areas and urban cores. As part of his efforts, recently Senator Warnock signed onto a letter with 20 of his Senate colleagues calling on the leaders of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to share data to identify communities without high-speed internet access and work together to improve broadband connectivity. Senator Warnock also recently signed onto a letter to the FCC urging the Commission to work with state and local governments to build more accurate maps that better identify Georgian, and American, families who still lack reliable, high-speed broadband.

Read the full text of the letters HERE and HERE.