Congressman Rob Wittman And Rep. Bill Johnson Introduced A Bill That Furnishes Broadband Access In Rural Communities
Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH-6) have introduced the Serving Rural America Act, a significant legislative initiative aimed at addressing the lack of reliable broadband access in unserved areas of the United States.
The bill that Congressman Rob Wittman introduce, proposes the establishment of a five-year pilot grant program within the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with an annual budget of $100 million, totaling $500 million over the duration of the program. (Read more on AUGUSTAFREEPRESS)
The ongoing Coronavirus outbreak has underscored the urgent need for robust broadband connectivity in every American household that’s why Congressman Rob Wittman proposed this bill. The Serving Rural America Act that Congressman Rob Wittman introduced seeks to bridge the digital divide by bringing high-speed internet access to approximately 19 million Americans who are still without it.
Congressman Rob Wittman emphasized the crucial role of closing the digital divide in uplifting communities in unserved regions. Congressman Rob Wittman stated that the grant program encourages collaboration between service providers to accurately assess the available coverage in a proposed service area, thus preventing unnecessary duplication of efforts. The legislation ensures that federal broadband support in rural areas is limited to one provider and remains technology-neutral to guarantee the long-term viability of new infrastructure.
Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, praised the efforts of Congressman Rob Wittman in supporting broadband infrastructure deployment. The bill that Congressman Rob Wittman proposed prioritizes higher speeds and improved services, while also fostering effective coordination among federal programs. This serves as a significant step forward in addressing the remaining broadband challenges in the country.
Serving Rural America Act By Congressman Rob Wittman: What Are Its Goals?
Key provisions of the Serving Rural America Act that Congressman Rob Wittman initiated include requiring internet service providers to collaborate with local authorities to ensure the needs and preferences of residents are considered. Funding would be prioritized for areas lacking internet speeds of 25Mbps/3Mbps. The legislation also includes measures to prevent overlapping with other federally funded broadband projects and implements a challenge process, allowing the public or existing service providers to contest proposed projects if they duplicate existing broadband service. (Check full article on PRINCEWILLIAMLIVING)
Moreover, the bill that Congressman Rob Wittman originated aims to enhance mapping accuracy by analyzing third-party data, utilizing crowd sourcing, and conducting site-specific testing in contested service areas. Additionally, the FCC would be required to provide Congress with annual progress reports based on buildout data provided by grant recipients.
The Serving Rural America Act by Congressman Rob Wittman represents a vital foundation for future discussions on addressing critical broadband issues and ensuring universal broadband availability across the nation. By promoting better access and improved services, the legislation seeks to ensure that no American is left without reliable broadband connectivity in the years to come.