Brown, Youngstown mayor discuss fight to protect Ohioans from increase in cost of high-speed Internet

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 23, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, hosted a news conference call this week with Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown to discuss bipartisan legislation to protect Ohioans from an increase in the cost of high-speed internet.

Brown’s office said the Affordable Connectivity Program reduces the cost of high-speed Internet for more than 1million Ohio households — in rural, suburban, and urban communities across the state, and that Brown’s bipartisan, bicameral Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act would fully fund the program that was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Brown helped to write and pass.

The program is administered by the Federal Communications Commission, which projects the program will be fully exhausted by the end of this month — well ahead of the anticipated date included in the law. If the program is not extended, Ohioans could see their internet bills increase by $30 per month.

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“Every Ohio family should have high-speed internet. And you shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant prices for it,” Brown said. “This legislation will ensure the Affordable Connectivity Program continues, providing cost savings for Ohioans, and preventing families from having to make tough choices about whether they can afford their internet bills next month.”

Brown has long been an advocate for high-speed internet infrastructure. In August, he announced a $162.5 million federal investment for high-speed internet infrastructure and community projects in Ohio under the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund. In June, he announced a massive investment to expand high-speed internet access to bring high-speed internet to 183,000 Ohio households. In October, anticipating the depletion of Affordable Connectivity Program funding, Brown joined 31 of his colleagues urging Congressional leadership to immediately provide additional funding for the program.