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Lamont Pushes For Wider Broadband Access In Connecticut

Internet Broadband cable
Jorge Guillen
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Pixabay

Connecticut has twice as many residents who lack broadband as Massachusetts, which has two times the population of Connecticut. That’s according to an independent research agency called Broadband Access.

Governor Ned Lamont is using the Broadband Access report to convince lawmakers to pass his universal broadband accessibility bill. The legislation gives an incentive to service providers to connect high speed internet to underserved parts of the state including the rural northwestern corner.

That's an area Lamont said has experienced a phenomenal influx of new residents since the pandemic.

“They have hundreds of people who have moved up there. And they stay if they can telecommute. They don’t stay if they can’t. So it's about economic development. So it's about economic development and it's about just basic dignity. Nobody can be left behind,” Lamont said.

Lamont’s bill provides a $50 a month subsidy to help households who can’t afford it pay for internet service.

The governor plans to use $140 million from Connecticut’s share of the American Rescue Plan to pay for the program. He also plans to use some of the federal infrastructure money the Biden Administration is promising to get through Congress.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.