Broadband

Broadband

As Co-Chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, I am fighting to ensure that our nation’s rural and unserved populations are no longer left on the sidelines, but instead gain access to key services such as telemedicine, online education, online banking, and grant and job applications that help small businesses and individuals compete in the 21st Century.

High speed broadband will revolutionize and improve the way rural populations live their lives, including the potential to expand economic opportunity and fuel our economy. As folks in urban and most suburban areas today benefit from the everyday experiences of online banking, email, or ridesharing, rural populations continue to be left on the sideline. It is essential that any federal efforts to close the digital divide focus on the truly unserved first.

While high-speed internet access is easily available in our urban areas, broadband deployment to rural communities has lagged behind. That is why I introduced the Serving Rural America Act in 2020. Under the act, grants would be awarded to eligible applicants that will consist of a partnership between an internet service provider and a locality (such as a county or planning district commission). Moreover, the program prioritizes the funding to areas without 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload capabilities. My Serving Rural America Act served as the model for the new NTIA Broadband Infrastructure Program included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 that authorized and appropriated $288 million for high-cost broadband construction projects.

Regarding telehealth, I am committed to extend the life-saving benefits of this technology, including to low-income and veterans. Furthermore, I helped draft and supported the Broadband DATA Act, which requires providers to report service availability based on more granular geolocation rather than traditional census blocks to improve the National Broadband Map.

Expanding access to high-speed internet is critical to economic development and growth in our nation. As America relies increasingly on technology in everyday life, I will continue to work to make sure that rural communities don’t suffer the long-term impacts of the digital divide.

 

As Co-Chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, I am fighting to ensure that our nation’s rural and unserved populations are no longer left on the sidelines, but instead gain access to key services such as telemedicine, online education, online banking, and grant and job applications that help […]

Read More