U.S. House Votes to Make D.C. the 51st State . . .


Ohio to Allow Gender Changes on Birth Certificates . . .


Broadband Industry Groups Sue State of New York . . .


Ohio to Lose one Congressional Seat . . .


Frontier Emerges from Chapter 11 . . .

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Customer Enrollment Set for FCC EBB Program


The Federal Communications Commission has announced that its Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program will be open for customer enrollment as of May 12, 2021. Households will be able to verify their eligibility via a customer portal. The date by which a customer must be enrolled to receive the benefit for the month is June 1, with providers reporting the list of eligible customers by June 15. Providers are required to obtain consent from participants for enrollment.


A total of 319 broadband providers were in the first wave of participants

to opt into the EBB Program, offering broadband to eligible households,

supported by the federal benefit. The FCC is expected to approve and

sign-up additional interested providers in the near future.


The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a $3.2 billion program that provides eligible households with up to a $50 per month ($75 on Tribal lands) service as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 towards a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. The program is designed to lower the cost of high-speed internet service for those households struggling to afford broadband connectivity.

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 President Biden's Address to

Joint Session of Congress


President Biden addressed members of Congress, one day short of the 100th day of his

administration.  Under strict coronavirus restrictions and tight security, the President spoke to only 200 attendees, instead of the usual 1,600. His speech outlined an active role for members of Congress, but recognizing a tough path to get through thin margins in both the House and Senate.


Throughout his presentation, President Biden appeared eager to engage members of

Congress as a critical branch in governing, along with executive action to join his efforts to

reinvest in America. He summarized the challenges he has faced from day one in the middle of a devastating pandemic.


The hour plus speech outlined ways for the government to help struggling Americans. He

touted his first legislative achievement with the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill. His recent

unveiling of a $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill, the American Jobs Plan, calls for spending on a

variety of items like roads, bridges, water systems and $100 billion earmarked for universal

broadband access. The plan goes beyond traditional infrastructure spending to include racial inequities and efforts to combat climate change. Lawmakers continue their debate on what should actually qualify for infrastructure. Republicans have introduced their own $568 billion proposal. President Biden called his American Jobs Plan a blue collar blueprint to build America.


President Biden also outlined plans for a domestic program - American Families Plan - a $2 trillion plan that includes a range of initiatives from preschool age to those on Medicare. In total, the President announced almost $6 trillion in spending, which is another $4 trillion on top of what Congress recently appropriated.


During his speech, he highlighted "history in the making" with a backdrop of two women on the

rostrum, VP Kamala Harris, the first African American female elected as Vice President,

alongside Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. President Biden has tasked VP Harris with

leading the effort to implement his American Jobs Plan and to address the immigration crisis in

talks with Central American countries.


Other priorities touched on included immigration changes, gun control, police reform, expanded

healthcare, cybersecurity defenses, raising the corporate tax rate and higher taxes on the

wealthiest Americans.

ORBA is "Connecting Communities" Throughout Ohio

A consortium of independent telcos and CLECs working together, sharing knowledge and

commonalities to promote and serve rural areas of Ohio


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