Expand broadband accessibility
The plan calls broadband internet service the “new electricity” and says more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds everywhere.
“High-speed internet access helps older adults age in place safely. It helps them overcome social isolation, benefit from telehealth, participate in civic engagement and look for employment,” said Dawit Kahsai, AARP senior legislative representative for economics and consumer affairs. “That’s why AARP has encouraged federal and state lawmakers to increase funding for broadband infrastructure, including advocating for additional appropriations in coronavirus relief bills.”
Biden’s plan would:
- Invest $100 billion to build high-speed broadband service in unserved and underserved areas in order to achieve 100 percent coverage.
- Promote broadband price transparency by requiring internet providers to clearly disclose the prices they charge.
- Encourage competition by removing barriers that prevent municipally owned or rural electric co-ops from competing with private providers.
More mobile, livable communities
More than 20 percent of people 65 and older — nearly 8 million Americans — do not drive. Adults 65 and older account for 21 percent of all pedestrian fatalities but only 16 percent of the nation’s population.
“We have long advocated for mobility options for older adults, including transit and walking and biking,” said Debra Alvarez, AARP senior legislative representative for financial security and consumer issues.
“Older adults consistently tell AARP that it is important for them to be able to stay in their homes and communities as they age, and say they would walk, bicycle and take public transportation more if it were safer for them to do so.”
The administration plan would spend:
- $20 billion to improve road safety for all, including increases to existing safety programs and a new Safe Streets for All program to fund state and local improvements in order to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.
- $85 billion to modernize and repair existing transit systems and to help agencies expand their bus and rail systems to meet rider demand.