CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined 38 attorneys general Thursday to urge Congress to take action to ensure that all Americans have the home internet connectivity necessary to participate in telemedicine, teleschooling and telework as part of any additional legislation that provides relief and recovery resources related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“High-speed internet access has played a critical role in giving Illinois residents the ability to work, learn, socialize and seek healthcare remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Raoul said, in a statement. “Congress and federal officials should work to ensure that all Americans have access to this vital resource.”
While Raoul and the attorneys general have lauded the independent efforts of various companies to increase internet access by waiving late fees or even providing free or discounted access to students and medical providers, such efforts often do not include lower income customers, such as people with pre-paid service. Further, current efforts may not represent a long-term solution to ensuring access to high-speed internet.
Ultimately, Raoul and the attorneys general argue, there needs to be a national solution.
According to the Attorney General's office, unless Congress acts quickly, disparities in access to home internet connectivity will exacerbate existing gaps in educational and health outcomes along lines of geography, economic resources, and race.