The expanding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the importance of ensuring Americans can connect to the internet, especially as they turn to telemedicine, telecommuting and distance learning in response to the social distancing policies that federal, state and local governments have implemented across the US. In light of this surge in demand for broadband connectivity, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have been active in adopting measures to help Americans stay connected. Our Communications Practice has been keeping track of this activity, along with proposals from industry stakeholders and government officials.
This alert synopsizes current events and emerging discussions regarding federal efforts to support communications and connectivity amid the COVID-19 pandemic as to four critical aspects: (1) consumer access to telecommunications and broadband services; (2) healthcare and telemedicine; (3) education; and (4) telecommunications and broadband infrastructure. We will update this document based on further developments.