tv Discussion on Broadband in Rural African American Communities CSPAN July 31, 2021 7:00pm-7:57pm EDT
to my fellow colleagues, about what we can do and stop this. >> what were those conversations like? >> i had a conversation with marjorie taylor greene. she was a freshman, very active. she was very upset about what was going on. hair and i chatted, she said what can i do, i said how about you go back and film a video and put it on social media, and if you have any influence, tell them to stop. she did that. >> this week you will year from adeline been of pennsylvania. january 6. these from the house, sunday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span.org, or listen on the radio app. >> next, they look into expanding broadband in rural african-american unities. james clyburn and jeffrey stark
spoke about the issue at an event hosted by the joint center for political and economic studies. >> it is a pleasure to be on this panel and i'm so excited to talk about our forth coming report, affordability and availability expanding broadband , in the south. which will be available soon. to better understand the black belts, -- black people make 49.2% of the region's population and make up the largest racial group. we collected original data in order to isolate counties that were clearly part of the black belt to understand the characteristics relative to other parts of the nation. in our research, we discovered that 38% of black americans in the black rural south lack home internet access. this is driven by both the lack
of affordability and availability of services. high-speed broadband is not available to some household because the service has not been deployed by an internet service provider or communities where it is available, some low-income households lack access because the service is not affordable. too often national broadband , conversation focused on rural america rarely give attention to the unique plight of black americans. we understand african-americans lack of access is a problem in both metropolitan and rural areas. and today, we want to connect more residents in the black rural south as the infrastructure debates continue. i want to open up discussion with our panelist. thank you all for being here. i want to start off with first, congressman james clyburn. thank you for being on our panel today.
congressman james clyburn, can you give us a quick overview with the bipartisan infrastructure package as it relates to expansion of broadband? mr. clyburn: i suspect you should be able to tune into c-span and you know the last couple of hours, things are occurring in the senate. they are currently trying to proceed with these negotiations. and that vote i suspect will be over soon and we'll know where they are going. my activity has been to coordinate with the bipartisan group in the senate to make sure that whatever they do include what we have been pushing with
what we call accessible and affordable broadband for all legislation. it is $95 billion bill. senator klobuchar has been pushing that bill. we'll see. if it is a bipartisan bill and we'll know where to go from there. so if they were to proceed to vote, i'm sure they got the votes to pass it. you see what's left on the table so we'll know how to proceed and in subsequent legislation. as i understand it, the bill they are voting on or may vote on is a $65 billion bill, which is $30 billion short of where we think it ought to be. >> thank you so much,
congressman. in our report we talk about the unique challenges facing black communities in the black rural south, when you think about your constituents, what are you hearing about the lack of broadband services in south carolina? mr. clyburn: as you can imagine covid-19 revealed some significant, let's just say, disrepair that exists. some of you may have heard me say i often talk about the , notion "democracy in america”" he said it is not great but -- because it is enlightened, but rather because it is trying to repair its faults. fault lines were opened by covid-19 and that place in the lack of broadband.
because of the lack of conductivity, i think you indicated under 38% of black communities in the rural south are connected to the broadband. high-speed broadband is what is needed if we are going to have health care effectively delivered. you can't deliver health without telehealth and telemedicine. and i can tell you this -- we, in certain places in the south, there is a full surge now coming about. it's in basically states like louisiana and south carolina and georgia and florida, the southern states. and if that were to happen, we would see children losing another year of school. i need not tell you what happens
to an eighth and ninth grader if they are out of school for two years. we cannot have continued education for our young people, to deliver by them without broadband. broadband to me is to the south today what electricity was in the 20th century. >> thank you so much, congressman, especially those important topics on education and health. i want to turn it over to commissioner stark. millions of americans don't have access to broadband either because it is not available or can't afford it. this is the case for black residents in the rural south. the emergency broadband benefit was developed to help families struggling to afford internet service during the covid-19 endemic, but it is only temporary. can you share your perspectives what lawmakers must address to expand internet to low-income americans?
>> thank you, first of all for allowing me to be here today and we're all watching the olympics and i'm on a break through with -- great team with this panel today. i'm honored to join this group. congratulations to you and your colleagues for the joint center for the work that you are doing on several fronts including tech policy. as you all work to center and empower those voices. and the focus on broadband has never been more important. the national urban league with their plan, to robert smith, to my predecessor on the commission, commissioner clyburn there have never been so many , powerful leaders who have come around this issue.
as you just heard from the whip. every person in this country deserves access to high-quality, affordable broadband. it was congressman john lewis who said access to the internet is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. and why is that? it impacts nearly all of the fundamental aspects of our lives. our ability to access health care through telemedicine, education, and good paying jobs. for those small businesses, ability to continue to sustain themselves and get their legs back underneath them. by the way and even registering , to vote in 40 states can be done online and this is crucial. i have long said to bring the benefits of broadband to every american, policy makers need to focus on the three pillars of digital inclusion first , expanding broadband
infrastructure, as we just heard. the second is to ensure that broadband is affordable for all and the third is to continue to empower americans with digital skills. the affordability aspect you talked about. 38% of black people living in the black rural south do not have broadband, and that is by both affordability and access. it's incredibly troubling. they don't have the broadband that we know that they need. and the coronavirus pandemic has caused economic upheaval, particularly for black americans. the emergency broadband benefit giving low-income families, $50 on their bill can be life changing for households across the country. you are right. the program is temporary and we need to work to effectuate a
permanent affordability solution and we need people to know that they can trust these programs. and that's what the permanent affordability -- they need to rely on people in the community. community partners. schools, churches, libraries all have to remain engaged in the way to spread the news about these programs about lifelines. and last thing, i saw a couple of examples on these community partnerships when i took a tour across alabama and georgia. on my last trip before the pandemic i was in rural randolph county, georgia, over 2 1/2 hours away from alabama. -- atlanta. i saw stacey abrams organization there. to install internet service for community members to participate
in the online census, and get jobs. and i stopped in selma, alabama and visited the housing authority to discuss an initiative they had of bringing preprogram and tablets to children in low-income housing, george washington carver homes. i will never forget hearing from a mother of three who said her life was transformed by the program and completed her online assignments to get a job. help her children complete their homework. and that is broadband for the people. dominique: thank you so much. you say there is a picture about how important broadband subsidy program is. i want to remine our audience members, if you have any questions, drop it in the queue and a and let us know who your -- who you are and your
affiliation. i want to turn it over next to former f.c.c. commissioner clyburn. you spent nearly nine years at the federal communication commission working on these issues. can you tell us how you think the fcc should be working with isps to ensure low-income communities get connected to broadband? >> thank you for having me. i really want to set the stage for my brief remarks as what you do and how you have been incredibly helpful. i see ourselves at this intersection of broadband opportunity of hope. i set it up that way, because what the pandemic has made especially clear is broadband is
availability, access and adoption is a determinant of education, civic engagement, economic opportunities and more. it is being noticed and being noticed at a time that is most critical. no sector of our economy that is untouched or not impacted by broadband connectivity or the lack of it. we may disagree on many things but here is the undeniable. more than 31% of rural americans compared to 4% of the urban counterparts do not have access to high-speed internet. and according to another think tank in the d.c. metro area, if you were to look the f.c.c. form
which looks at the fly men, and we look back in 2014 and 27% of the people of color live in unserved areas. and if you were to look at the broadband deserts, the lack of availability of high-speed or -- access to the internet. what you will find, about 38.3% of african-americans live in poverty. the issue is there is a direct , correlation. this is a determinant of a lot of critical -- again where we are critically. the f.c.c. mandate is more important than ever before, and the mandate is to ensure that telecommunication services are being deployed to everyone of us regardless of where we live and , how much money we make in a reasonable and timely fashion.
too many of our areas have been shortchanged. so here is what i believe, if you believe that broadband is a social determinant when it comes to addressing needs then we , should push the f.c.c. to revamp that lifeline. it has been starved for a number of years and demonized for more years but it is critical to bridge the affordability gap who -- for so many who can't afford a dialtone, let alone broadband. what is clear, even though a lot of us are poor, -- proponents of the emergency broadband becoming permanent, there is no guarantee. the lifeline program is that lifeline for those who have issues when it comes to affording communications services. we should not be arguing about the f.c.c. when it comes to its
rules and regulations being targeted, that being more enhanced. pushing those companies that get almost $9 billion to deploy broadband and enable services to our communities. that should come with conditions. our goal when it comes to connecting our communities with fast, reliable affordable broadband service. that's to be part of the equation. the fcc should work closely, more closely with other agencies like hud. because they are attempting to narrow that. the bottom line, there is no sector of our economy, including government, including the needs of people that cannot be intent -- enhanced with safe, reliable,
fast, affordable broadband services. frankly, these partnerships, state and local governments, philanthropic, refraining from competition in our communities -- because too many of our communities have two or fewer broadband providers and serve two or fewer. that means there are fewer opportunities, higher costs and fewer options. we should start at the design, meaning who can participate in , these options where there can be another competitive provider that can offer the next greatest thing. right now the way it is set up, only the big guys have the best opportunity. that means small innovators might not have a chance and may be the ones that hold the key to connecting our community. in short, the fcc should ensure
every single dollar goes to areas of need, they should make sure that every single dollar is meeting the needs and objectives , so we have, in terms of connecting our community affordably with both the services they need to be able to participate and improve their lives in the 21st century. these dollars should flow and come with conditions. they should come with robust conditions and accountability to , me is key and meeting our , goals and objectives of a connected community. areas and individuals can thrive , whether the infrastructure that they have in place or the environments that might be lacking from an educational standpoint, health care standpoint and economic empowerment standpoint,
broadband is the greatest equalizer i know when it comes to addressing unmet needs. dominique: thank you so much commissioner clyburn, you have brought up a lot of important topics, especially issues around economic well-being. you are from south carolina, clearly you are very passionate about the challenges for rural residents. i am wondering if you can provide insight about what economic opportunities exist in connecting black communities to broadband? ms. clyburn: it's interesting, i hate to answer in the negative, but it is the opportunities that do not exist. just by the very nature of the community. by way of infrastructure transportation and other , opportunities. we know that -- we talked about nationally, the 60 million children, 30% that lack internet connection when the pandemic hit
and could not go to school in person. i could not help but think of my my home state of south carolina where that 30% is well over 50% of the students that didn't have access to broadband. when i looked at this research back in 2018, it shows just 20% of black students obtained the second level of reading comprehension by eighth grade compared to 60% of white students. when you see that, and you see rural hospitals closing medical , professionals leaving the area for greener pastures because the infrastructure is not there. when you make that link, because it is linked when it comes to poor reading skills, comprehension skills, poor health outcomes, all of that leads to these economic
opportunity gaps that currently, we are not doing the best job of filling, but i think with a broadband enabled future, a future that is not 10 or 12 years away. if we were to build that, bring broadband into the mix, then a lot of these issues and challengees that we have by way of infrastructure, educational -- the lack of educational opportunities can be rooted, these opportunities can be rooted in these rural areas where african american-americans live. and are large clusters of african americans who are economically, physically and opportunity wide disadvantage. to break the cycle, i think broadband has to be part of the mix and the f.c.c., it was
commissioner stark. it has an incredible role to play, much different role more , critical role to play and with the bandwidth has a critical role to play. dominique: thank you so much. i really appreciate it. i want to talk about what is happening at the state and local levels. there will soon be an influx of money for states to address broadband in local communities. in our report, we recommend that southern states prioritize expansion in the black rural south counties. can you talk about the solutions you have heard about that have been deployed? >> thank you so much, not only for having the panel, but i feel like i'm on the panel with tech titans. i feel a little bit -- i haven't
had the decades of experience like my co-panelist but when i , think about all the time, i run into local leaders, at church with them, at schools. it is an issue they can't run away from. there are a lot of things i want to make sure we touch on and expand on what are some of the things we need to see from local leadership. number one, some of the work coming out of your report, specifically talking about redlining, and i know you will expand on it. i want to make sure that some of the exclusivity is actually by design. part of this is about literally, decades of disinvestment strategies, policies, particles, practices and more that has been accepted that started in other industries, and have led into broadband. some of the places that we're struggling with maybe getting
banks, healthy food or clean , water are seeing the same issue with the 21st century broadband. we are talking about this without blame or shame, it's , important to ground this in the historical reference that , part of the issues we are fighting in the marketplace were there by design. now we need to be authentic and , upfront about the fact that we need to make room at the table for new voices to contribute to solutions. and that means being able to acknowledge that good ideas, some of the most innovative solutions, best collaborations are going to come from people , that are as diverse as the communities that they serve. when we are talking about improving broadband access in black rural communities, it's not just improving it for them. it actually improves the local economies and quality of life for all the communities that they touch. so when we talk about these issues, i don't want it to seem we are just focused on improving
the quality of life for african americans, we are looking to empower some of the disenfranchised voices in hopes to replicate that success. some of your research actually focuses on the lack of access to broadband impacts education. and workforce development. but as former commissioner clyburn mentioned, this is something that goes into generational wealth. how people get their home value. how they are actually able to participate in a digital economy and shaping our democracy. the work, the cause, the importance of what we are doing, it is the urgency of now. when we talk about it, it is hard when i talk to local leaders who feel they have been excluded from the table, they don't always know where to start and quite frankly they don't have the resources to do the ambitious projects that they
want. it is upon all of us to make sure we are creating pathways for them to participate in the policymaking, and being able to honor their stories and need to -- allow them to tell about the needs, successes, challenges in their own words without coloring them but giving them an , opportunity to say this is what i need and how you can help. when we are talking about the digital divide, i want to make sure we highlight the fact that we cannot separate this in conversations about poverty. poverty in the united states is always a dirty word, stand in the idea that if you were outside the united states but -- and are poor, but if you are in the united states and poor it's because you didn't try hard enough. i want to make sure we dismantled out. when we are talking about the digital divide, whenever you find the poverty, you will find the digital divide. we know household within $10,000
of the poverty line are struggling with broadband access, even if they have infrastructure outside of the front door. what are we doing to make sure they not only get that first subscription and hold onto it but they are able to maintain , it, a robust and reliable connection in a sustainable way and have the digital preparedness and generational digital literacy in their homes to be able to use those computers. it is important when we are talking about those things to say all of these obstacles are , going to take more than one agency or one group tackling it. there is a part for everyone at this table. at the local level in particular, over the past year, we haven't focused on supporting local leaders who are improving broadband access. they are tasked with coming up with immediate solutions but very often don't know where to
get in line for resources. when resources are coming out of the federal budget, the places that always get in line know where to sign up and the places , that are locked out are not going to know where to sign up. that means we need to be aggressive in outreach and , making sure we are reaching out to people outside our orbit and we also need to be able to meet them with language that also means where they are. too often tech policy circles , are designed to be exclusive by saying you don't have enough tenure. you did not get anointed by the right group. but we need to be able to acknowledge if there are brilliant solutions happening across the country that are far outside of washington, d.c.. a consortium in michigan is a great example of where you have scholarship local grit and local , leaders who are working to create broadband solutions. in washington -- the state of
washington, you had in mount vernon, you have a mayor who signed up to give other mayors support when they are coming up with their own broadband plan. in chula vista california, they launched one of the first of its kind digital equity plans other . and municipalities around them were reaching out for advice. have local leaders and community leaders empowered, that is something that is contagious and touches everyone outside their region. look at lafayette, louisiana, 10 years ago improved the quality of service when they couldn't get what they needed. they decided to do it and now serving as a role model and helping people. i offer these things as examples because there are hundreds of them and count less communities
that no agency in the conversation. so i encourage everyone who is on this, not views the people on this panel to make room on at your table, because there are great ideas and all sorts of thought leaders. >> thank you for making it plain and painting a picture of >> thank you so much, francella, for really making it plain and painting a picture of what local leaders are doing to connect more communities. in the same way, i would love to hear your thoughts of what you are hearing and how congress needs to connect residents. francella: people are asking for resources. and that is something . municipalities do not have the resources to launch the type of programs that they need. one of the things we do encourage local leaders to make sure that their financial assessment are not only
capturing a balance sheet but are thinking about the human capital and the potential partnerships in their area. during covid in particular, we have a host of local leaders that partnered with local providers of all sizes, large , medium, and small, to extend broadband to communities that were hard to reach or unserved completely. some have made inroads in being able to do ongoing collaborations with schools because especially in rural areas not only hcbu's but hispanic colleges and community colleges, indigenous students there are lots of local , community college institutions could be a hub to expand that networking. >> thank you so much. in the larger report we talk about the importance of hcbu's and i'm excited to see the ways
in which they will partner with local community organizations and black nonprofits to provide more broadband services and training services for the local communities. i want to turn it back over to commissioner stark. in our report we patriotic a recommendation based upon your providers who receive funds to idea to require to provide -- universal service funds to provide consumers with an , affordable option. can you share more about the importance of this proposal. commissioner stark: yes, it is great question. again you have to start with the , premise that we need a suite of challenges -- we need to solve a suite of challenges to bring connectivity to folks that find themselves unconnected and in particular with regard to rural areas we are talking about here today. i was gobsmacked upon careful study that when we at fcc pay billions of dollars through our high cost universal service fund
to bring connectivity to areas , to subsidize providers to bring connectivity to areas, where they would not otherwise do it, that we were not ensuring that local-income folks there were specifically provided for in those buildout plans. i don't know have to tell this audience that you can be poor and rural. so it makes plain sense if the , government is going to pay to bring the internet to your community, then it should benefit all the folks in your community. and not just the well off. so, i propose that we require, mandate that providers who receive universal service funds high cost funding provide consumers with an affordable option. this proposal was included in the acceptable, affordable internet for all act led by whip clyburn and senator klobuchar and i hope it will make its way into the final infrastructure legislation. if i can, very briefly, flag as you mentioned the importance of hbcu's.
and funding those that seek broadband access as options for digital literacy for them and their surrounding community. i visited alabama state university last year, saw that hbcu's can be partners in the -- in bridging the digital divide in the black rural south. i hosted a number of roundtable discussions with hcbu presidents. dr. harrison, you helped facilitate one of those conversations. it is mission critical that the fcc and all of us hear from the tennessee state, north carolina, tennessee state, north carolina, clark atlanta university, amt delaware state, howard , university. and mr. clyburn will try to get south carolina state in there as well. we are reminded that hcbu's unique institutions that play are unique institutions that play powerful roles in their community and will be vital in
achieving our goal of bridging the digital divide not only for , their students but across the black rural south where many of those hcbu's are located. >> thank you, commissioner stark. i want to turn it back over to former commissioner clyburn. you are also an advocate for greater broader broadband access and competition. can you talk about the importance of competition in this? fmr. commissioner clyburn: i wish i could say to you that what i'm about to affirm is just a rural or urban problem but i have seen figures that is high as 40% of communities and people who live and have pretty expensive homes in pretty urban communities. in parts of d.c. where they have two or fewer options by way of a
broadband provider. and to is not competition. one is a monopoly. and zero, you are stuck. while we talk about competition so, as a fuel an enabler for opportunities because where you , see competition, you see lower prices, you see higher speed, you see more products and services. and so when you have that -- people competing for business. they bring their a game. so while we talk about , competition that it must be part of this discussion is that many of the benefits that with -- that would not happen organically if we are in a , monopoly framework, that would not happen and would not substantially improve the options for those, particularly
in rural areas. and lack of options, that is a part of -- you look at the asterisk defining rural communities, options would not be high on the opportunity plate when it comes to them. so affordability is a real problem. low-speed is a big problem. bad service quality, a significant problem. when i went to jackson, mississippi, i heard about all three. i heard about people hanging out at mcdonald's, not to eat, but that was their only affordable, reliable option, to do their homework and fill out job applications. so we have a lot of work to do, and competition has to be a part of the enabling mix. both from a legislative and regulatory point of view. we have disagreements how much money should flow there,
commissioner stark has experienced it and i have set it during my eight-plus years, but we have to talk about it and providing opportunity for one is not going to give as many opportunities as we might think. >> thank you so much, commissioner clyburn. as we note in our report, research from the free press shows as communities get higher percentage of african american-americans in their population they might have one internet service provider. thank you for speaking to the importance of competition and communities. we are coming up to our q&a time so i want to provide our panelists the opportunity to answer questions we have coming from the audience. we have plenty of questions. i want to start with this any one. panelist jump in when you would like to respond.
earl p. with getwired america, has a two-part question. is there a monitoring mechanism to ensure that black and minority communities, get there fair share of federal funding? and how can congress encourage national banks and the office of the comptroller of the currency to commit credit and capital along side the united states to assure buildout? >> i will take the first part of that and defer to someone else with expertise on the comptroller. in particular there are a number of mechanisms that we have at the fcc, with regard to buildout. i'm talking about our high cost program where we are praying universal fund dollars and four buildout, making sure over a six or seven-year life cycle that there are a number of times where they have to hit certain
hurdles and meet more and more , folks and get higher numbers and higher threshold numbers in their community that they are continuing to serve. that is not a rate-based. -- that is not race-based. where those dollars flow to is part of the connect america fund , which is building out now, the rural digital opportunity fund. we're going through the long form process to make sure the award winners are going to be building out. and accountability is something i deeply believe in, as a former lawyer, even for the fcc. >> i will address it more generically, data. there is a lack of it. for us to build specific programs, to address what earl
puts forward. one of the things, the number of things we expressly did during my years at the fcc, was to look at areas of need. give more credit when it came to two option design. rural opportunities of credit, a credit that would look at communities that are economically disadvantaged. there are ways until we get enough data, frost to have race specific or gender specific initiatives. there are things we can do. we talked about the economic and educational gaps that we have. there are creative ways we can come up with that will move the needle in communities of color particularly in rural , communities. francella mentioned the
long-standing opportunity divide. the longstanding issues of disproportionate rates of poverty and educational attainment, economic opportunities, and civic engagement. there are ways we can address those if you allow me to put that label on it, in crate of ways, through agencies, programs, through banks. when is the last time we talked about cre's? these are things that can be done collectively if we coordinate and define public-private partnership p threes to move the needle where we have the most by way of challenges. the challenge is to be creative. to continue to do so. and it is our hope that the agencies, particularly
collectively. private sector, on their own, because they have fewer restrictions, can put things in place to make a difference. when we come back next year and we will have a visit with this panel and that we are not talking about the same thing. it would be a shame are 30% here that link between lack of , broadband and percentage of poverty, they seem to be linked. they are linked, some of which is by design, intentional or accidental it does not -- it is a problem we must proactively address. >> thank you so much, especially bring a back up the idea of poverty. omar asked, how can we build the capacity of county governments,
especially persistent poverty counties in rural areas, to do this work? >> i would like to chime in here. it is important to acknowledge the power of counties, when it comes to economic development and being able to decide what is happening to municipalities. also when we are speaking about broadbent programs designed, in congress or, in the white house, or in a state governor's office we need to make sure that county , leaders are part of that discussion. often local and county leaders are included as an afterthought, notified when an rfp or are five, letting you know -- or rfi, and rarely are they included in the policy making process. it is important tore us to be explicit that they are not only encouraged to participate in that dialogue but invited into that dialogue because it is not often enough for one or two
trade associations to be able to share their struggles. there are over 10,000 municipalities across the united states. so, we need to get a diverse array of them from guam to puerto rico, to hawaii to the outstirts of maine. we need to be expansive in our reach. also, centering marginalized voices, voices on the margins, it is important we bring them into the center and identify their tacticians because they come up with great problem-solving on their own. and they actually have good ideas that would improve federal and state policies. >> if i may, a lot of you may be aware but i know that commissioner starks and former commissioner clyburn are aware, the affordable accessible
broadband for all legislation prioritized persistent poverty counties. many of you may know the extensive work with persistent poverty counties. we have set-asides in 21 of our funding bills here for persistent poverty counties. so we focus on that. secondly, we also mandate by this legislation, that local municipalities must be involved in the process. as you know in years past, some folks at the state levels have -- some folks have lobbied at the state levels to deny local communities opportunities to participate. i'm well aware of that. but i have used the experience i have and creative devices in the south to address legislation.
>> thank you so much for highlighting your legislation, congressman clyburn. our time is coming to an end and i want to give each panelist the opportunity to share final thoughts on this topic. there is so much more discussion we could have here. i want to hear what is on your mind as we think about the bipartisan broadband infrastructure. and thinking about the digital divide for low-income americans across the u.s.. >> go ahead. >> thank you so much for having me. as you can imagine, things are pretty active with the senate trying to wade into the last minute. the houses trying to go home this week. thank you so much for having me
and i am always pleased to be on with fcc commissioner's, present and past, i'm at a loss to disagree with them pretty often. thank you for letting me be here. >> thank you, congressman. >> from one clyburn to another, one thing that is clear, and i mentioned, broadband is a social determinant of many challenges we have today or lack thereof. so we are going to seriously work on breaking this persistent cycle of unrealized opportunities. we must demand certain things. we must demand accountability from those at the fcc fund. we must demand accountability from state and local heeders that are going to have and continue to get appropriated
money from congress and make sure that the money is more evenly spent. news flash, money has not been evenly spent and opportunities have not been evenly realized . that perpetration seems to happen in the same places. so again, the demands are great and necessary for us to demand high-speed, high quality, reliability, affordability and inclusive opportunities. because we can talk about and have named a lot of the critical challenges that we have. they are evident and became more evident during this process. but we are at a unique inflection where the point opportunities are great and leveraging technology and ensuring broadband opportunities
that are reachable, that are affordable and widely available is the key. all of that collectively is the key to realizing the opportunities and realizing them more quickly. that, i believe is the difference the last pandemic 100 that the last pandemic 100 years ago, we did not have what we have now. we have learned a lot from that. we need to put lessons in place in order for us to address these issues and expand the opportunities for technology. we won't get there quickly without it. >> yes, i would say quickly and it springboards on something that commissioner clyburn mentioned and something i have been speaking about. it is something i work on daily here. we next sure especially for the
, struggling households that we know have really been hurt through the pandemic, we need to have a whole of government approach, to making sure that they are able to get to the suite of services we have for households that are struggling. so, if you are having food insecurity, you're likely having digital insecurity. so we need to join with hud, we need to join with usda which controls snap. we need to join with all of our sister agencies and make sure if you are a part of a struggling household, you don't have to knock on every door in order to get the help that you need. we know that millions of families have recently signed up for snap, in order to make sure that they have food on the table. we should also be able to get them the connectivity that we know that they all need. >> lastly, francella, do you have any last remarks?
francella: i'm so thankful for work all of these panelists and specifically at joint center -- keep doing that research. i hope all of you watching this online, especially the people who are not often invited into the circle, that there are more people that are more diverse and more good ideas being injected into this conversation. >> i appreciate you all so much. again, this conversation deserves so much more discussion . but we want to be respectful of everyone's time. and our time together is -- has come to an end. i want to say thank you so much to our panelists, congressman james clyburn, francella ochello, jeffrey starks and former fcc chairwoman mignon clyburn. our audience, thank you for being here as well. please check out our forthcoming report, affordability and availability, expanding broadband in the black rural south, which you'll find online at jointcenter.org. thank you, for everyone, for tuning in.
>> sunday, c-span series, january 6, views from the house, continues. three more members of congress share stories of what they saw, heard, an expense that day, including california democrat zoe lofgren, who served as a teller for the electoral vote count that day. >> a capital officer came and said it was necessary to evacuate. and that we should take the hoods, you know there are hoods under the seat of each seat in the chamber. take them out. and be prepared to put them on. so everybody did. and i think, when you pull the little red tag and activates it. so people were not wearing them, there had been tear gas released in the chamber -- in the rotunda, which is why we were advised we might need to wear them.
but there was this tremendous kind of hissing noise, from all of these hoods, that was the background of the moment. and of course, the pounding. and the noise from the mob had become much louder. at some point, someone up in the chambers, in the gallery, a member, was yelling at the republicans, to call trump. and have trump call off his mob. and there was some yelling back and forth among members in the gallery. >> call trump. tell him to call off his -- call trump. tell him to do something. >> this week, you will also hear from republican rodney davis, of illinois, and pennsylvania democrat, madeleine dean.
january 6, views from the house, sunday at 10:00 p.m. eastern, on c-span, c-span.org, or listen on the c-span radio app. >> president biden announced new sanctions on the cuban government during a meeting with cuban american leaders at the white house. pres. biden: okay, i'm honored to welcome members of the cuban american community and senator menendez, senator meeks, to discuss how the united states is going to continue to stand with the cuban people who have suffered decades, decades under a failed communist regime. earlier this month, cubans took to the street in a historic demonstration of the will of the people of cuba. the regime responded with violence and repression, mass detentions, sham trials and are