House agriculture Republicans introduce the Broadband for Rural America Act

House agriculture Republicans introduce the Broadband for Rural America Act.

The proposal would fund $7 billion dollars for USDA broadband connectivity programs, including $3.7 billion dollars for ReConnect, the Middle Mile Program, and the Innovative Broadband Advancement Program. It would also target resources toward the most rural and least connected areas.

Congressman Austin Scott says that it is important for the funding to be at USDA.

He explains, “The key aspect, to me, of this piece of legislation that is different from others, is what I refer to as the fast-forward funding. It is the $3.7 billion a year for two years that we’re going to put into the USDA. I think it is important for rural America that the money goes to the USDA and not to the Federal Communication Commission. There is some talk that the Federal Communication Commission of changing the speed from 25 to 100 megabytes, which is what people consider to be high-speed. We in rural America want to make sure that we get to that 25 megabytes prior to the expansion to 100.”

Ranking member Glenn Thompson told reporters that he expects the bill to attract strong bipartisan support.


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