Sen. Ed Markey and a coalition of more than three dozen Democratic senators urged the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday to boost internet connectivity for students whose homes have turned into classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Democratic senators, in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, urged the FCC to “immediately utilize the E-Rate program” to provide internet access for students at home during remote or hybrid learning, with 16 million children across the U.S. lacking internet access.
“These students are disproportionally from communities of color, low-income households and rural areas,” the senators wrote. “Without urgent action by the FCC, we are deeply concerned that they will fall further behind in their studies. The current emergency demands that you take immediate action to help our nation’s most vulnerable children. We specifically call on you to utilize the E-Rate program to close this ‘homework gap’ without further delay.”