Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) published an op-ed with the Washington Post to share details of her plan to deliver broadband to rural America. Senator Warren would establish a new Office of Broadband Access that would oversee an $85 billion federal grant program. Cooperatives, nonprofit organizations, tribes, counties, and other local governments would be eligible to apply while service providers would be ineligible for grant funding. The 2020 candidate urged her readers to support a “public option for broadband” to increase competition in a market that is dominated by a small number of service providers nationwide.
2020 candidates continue to bring rural broadband policy into the national spotlight for the benefit of rural communities. A dramatic increase in public investment is required to close the digital divide, and Senator Warren proposes a legitimate plan to bring internet access to rural areas. Campaign promises from 2020 candidates offer rural counties optimism that a new administration will prioritize the digital divide and invest in rural broadband.