Mar 24, 2020 - Technology

House Democrats' virus bill would fund student WiFi hotspots

House Democrats' coronavirus response plan unveiled Monday would direct funding to pay for WiFi hotspots for students and bar broadband providers from imposing data caps during the crisis.

The big picture: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the legislation after Republicans and Democrats in the Senate failed to move their own stimulus measure forward.

Details: The House's $2.5 trillion "Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act" includes several provisions related to tech and telecom issues for the duration of the national emergency, including:

  • $2 billion for schools to pay for WiFi hotspots and connected devices including laptops or tablets for students in need.
  • $1 billion for an "emergency lifeline benefit" to aid low-income households in obtaining broadband service.
  • Codifying and expanding the Federal Communications Commission's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge," in which broadband providers promised not to terminate internet service because of inability to pay. The bill also would prohibit setting limits on the amount of data customers can use, outside of network management practices.
  • Empowering the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to impose civil penalties in price-gouging cases related to the coronavirus pandemic.

A draft summary of the bill Senate Republicans are backing includes allocations of:

  • $200 million for an FCC telehealth program.
  • $25 million dedicated to rural distance learning, telemedicine, and broadband programs.

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Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,945,737— Total deaths: 365,368 — Total recoveries — 2,515,675Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,747,087 — Total deaths: 102,836 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  4. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  5. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.

Deaths without consequences

Community organizations and activists demand police accountability at a rally in Grand Central Terminal to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of Mike Brown's death by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Photo: Erik McGregor/Getty Images

Seven years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officers to be charged in the deaths of African Americans — and even more rare for an officer to go to jail.

The big picture: The Minneapolis police officer who was captured on video kneeling on George Floyd's neck has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — which is already a step beyond the consequences other police officers have faced. But it's no guarantee that he will face jail time.

Teenager killed after shots fired at protesters in Detroit

Detroit police during protests on Friday night. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

A 19-year-old man was killed on Friday night after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators in downtown Detroit who were protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, per AP.

Details: The teenager was injured when shots were fired from an SUV about 11:30 p.m. and later died in hospital, reports MDN reports, which noted police were still looking for a suspect. Police said officers were not involved in the shooting, according to AP.

Go deeper: In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd