Two bills introduced in the House of Representatives would help close the gap on rural broadband. Micheal Clements shares details on the legislation.
Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation supports two bills that would improve rural broadband connections. AFBF Congressional Relations Director Emily Buckman says Farm Bureau supports the Broadband for Rural America Act by House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Glenn GT Thompson.
Buckman: Farm Bureau is extremely appreciative of the Ag Committee’s effort in trying to tackle the digital divide. Rural broadband is something that we do see as a bipartisan issue. And the legislation would provide over $7 billion in authorizations, including making permanent the ReConnect program which is providing lots of support for our rural communities.
Clements: Farm Bureau also supports the Eliminating Barriers to Rural Internet Development Grant Eligibility Act.
Buckman: This legislation was introduced by Ranking Member of the House Transportation Infrastructure Committee, Sam Graves out of Missouri. This legislation seeks to provide additional flexibility to the Economic Development Administration whenever it comes to funding to support broadband programming in rural communities.
Clements: Buckman says broadband is a necessity for rural America.
Buckman: These pieces of legislation are extremely important because, as we’ve all seen, broadband is a necessity, and our rural communities still lag behind our urban counterparts. And these pieces of legislation focus in on providing resources to rural communities that lack it.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.