LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) Sen. Maggie Hassan held a virtual roundtable on Thursday to discuss expanding broadband access in New Hampshire.
Hassan, D-New Hampshire, and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel met with New Hampshire business, health care and education leaders.
The CARES Act included funding to expand broadband in rural areas, support remote learning and expand access to telemedicine.
Hassan is supporting a bill to expand the FCC's E-Rate program which makes sure students have adequate internet connectivity and devices.
Rosenworcel says the pandemic is showing the country how essential broadband access is.
"I think we're exposing a really hard truth, which is that the digital divide is really big and as a nation, we've been asked to go online for work, for education, for health care, for everything. In fact, having that connection is essential to maintain any semblance of modern life right now," Rosenworcel said. "So my thinking is how do we use this crisis to get broadband to all?"
The commissioner says the FCC is looking at how to best use existing programs during the pandemic, how to update them and-- after the pandemic-- how to make sure everyone stays connected.