Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is a cosponsor of the Keeping Critical Connections Act, bipartisan legislation that helps small broadband providers ensure rural broadband connectivity for students and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak. This legislation creates a temporary Critical Connections Emergency Fund at the FCC, which will allow small telecommunications providers to keep students low-income individuals, and others economically impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to be connected to vital online resources such as emergency information, telehealth services, and online education materials. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Senator Kevin Cramer (ND).

“During this time of crisis, while many are working and completing schoolwork from home, it is essential that they have reliable access to broadband,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This legislation supports our small operators to offer free or discounted service or broadband upgrades to households who are in urgent need of distance learning and other capabilities. In addition, many constituents in the North Country rely on telehealth services, especially during this health crisis. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation to bring more connectivity to those who need it most during this unprecedented time, and I will continue to advocate for their needs in Congress.”