A bipartisan bill was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate, to assure that the Department of Agriculture targets broadband funding through its Reconnect Program to those rural, agrarian and remote areas that most need it. The proposed act also calls for coordination between federal agencies to prevent overbuilding of existing broadband networks.
Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), one of the bills’ sponsors, said, “Expanding access to broadband services and connectivity in rural areas…has long been a priority for me. Our bipartisan legislation would help bridge the digital divide by assuring federal broadband funding goes to truly unserved areas.”
Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), another of the legislations’ four sponsors, went to the heart of the matter. “Without reliable high speed internet,” he said,” kids can’t do their homework and local businesses can’t compete. We must do all that we can to invest in our underserved communities, our children, and their future.”
This proposed bill seems to be both appropriate and much-needed, given the tangle of recent regulatory and legislative efforts to bring broadband to unserved and underserved areas of our country.
It’s also nice to see such a rare civil and bipartisan approach, in these highly charged political times.