Connect with us

Rural

Two New Broadband Bills, Including One Aimed at Rural America, Introduced in Congress

The bipartisan Hassan-Capito bill would provide state and local governments with new financing options for broadband projects.

Published

on

May 21, 2021 — Two new bills introduced into Congress this week both aim to accelerate the rate at which quality broadband access reaches unserved and underserved Americans living in rural communities.

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Deployment Act introduced Thursday by Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., seeks to repeal unnecessary eligibility requirements that prevent otherwise qualified internet service providers from participation in federal universal support programs designed to close broadband access gaps nationwide. Universal support programs are federally funded and operate on the belief that all Americans should have access to communications services.

The bipartisan Rural Broadband Financing Flexibility Act introduced on Tuesday by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., aims at helping states, cities and town spur investment in rural broadband projects. The bill would provide state and local governments with new financing options for broadband projects, giving states and localities access to additional tools to invest in rural broadband.

Butterfield’s legislation will retire the eligible telecommunications carrier designation requirements, which, according to the NCTA, “unfairly prevent qualified ISPs from participating in federal universal support programs.” By removing the requirements, more service providers with a history of competently operating broadband networks will participate in the federally funded programs.

Ideally, this will spur competition among more competing internet service providers, who will all seek to bring internet service to underserved areas for the best quality and lowest prices.

Hassan’s and Moore’s bill would allow states to issue tax-exempt bonds in order to finance rural broadband projects. These bonds would be backed by the federal government, which would ensure repayment on the bonds, thereby making the purchasing of such assets a riskless investment. Additionally, the legislation would create a federal tax credit that states and localities could direct toward rural broadband projects.

“I’ve been pursuing every angle to ensure rural areas get reliable, affordable connectivity,” Capito said. “This legislation will provide additional funding opportunities for communities looking to invest in rural broadband. I’m proud to team up with Sen. Hassan again to reintroduce this legislation that will help close the digital divide in West Virginia and across rural America by incentivizing buildout and expanding financing options.”

Reporter Tyler Perkins studied rhetoric and English literature, and also economics and mathematics, at the University of Utah. Although he grew up in and never left the West (both Oregon and Utah) until recently, he intends to study law and build a career on the East Coast. In his free time, he enjoys reading excellent literature and playing poor golf.

Rural

In San Juan, Utah, a Snapshot of a School District’s Struggle to Bring Broadband Home

The fight for broadband infrastructure in one Utah community. Is private enterprise the end goal?

Published

on

Chris Monson with Wesley Hunt on Abajo Peak tower. Photo courtesy of Monson.

May 21, 2021 — Two new bills introduced into Congress this week both aim to accelerate the rate at which quality broadband access reaches unserved and underserved Americans living in rural communities.

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Deployment Act introduced Thursday by Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., seeks to repeal unnecessary eligibility requirements that prevent otherwise qualified internet service providers from participation in federal universal support programs designed to close broadband access gaps nationwide. Universal support programs are federally funded and operate on the belief that all Americans should have access to communications services.

The bipartisan Rural Broadband Financing Flexibility Act introduced on Tuesday by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., aims at helping states, cities and town spur investment in rural broadband projects. The bill would provide state and local governments with new financing options for broadband projects, giving states and localities access to additional tools to invest in rural broadband.

Butterfield’s legislation will retire the eligible telecommunications carrier designation requirements, which, according to the NCTA, “unfairly prevent qualified ISPs from participating in federal universal support programs.” By removing the requirements, more service providers with a history of competently operating broadband networks will participate in the federally funded programs.

Ideally, this will spur competition among more competing internet service providers, who will all seek to bring internet service to underserved areas for the best quality and lowest prices.

Hassan’s and Moore’s bill would allow states to issue tax-exempt bonds in order to finance rural broadband projects. These bonds would be backed by the federal government, which would ensure repayment on the bonds, thereby making the purchasing of such assets a riskless investment. Additionally, the legislation would create a federal tax credit that states and localities could direct toward rural broadband projects.

“I’ve been pursuing every angle to ensure rural areas get reliable, affordable connectivity,” Capito said. “This legislation will provide additional funding opportunities for communities looking to invest in rural broadband. I’m proud to team up with Sen. Hassan again to reintroduce this legislation that will help close the digital divide in West Virginia and across rural America by incentivizing buildout and expanding financing options.”

Continue Reading

Expert Opinion

Carri Bennet: Biden’s Broadband Plan is Key to Spurring Rural Economic Development, Jobs and Manufacturing

The American Jobs Plan, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, includes $100 billion to ensure broadband availability to every single American at affordable rates. This means building more broadband in rural areas.

Published

on

The author of this Expert Opinion is Carri Bennet of the law firm of Womble Bond Dickinson

May 21, 2021 — Two new bills introduced into Congress this week both aim to accelerate the rate at which quality broadband access reaches unserved and underserved Americans living in rural communities.

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Deployment Act introduced Thursday by Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., seeks to repeal unnecessary eligibility requirements that prevent otherwise qualified internet service providers from participation in federal universal support programs designed to close broadband access gaps nationwide. Universal support programs are federally funded and operate on the belief that all Americans should have access to communications services.

The bipartisan Rural Broadband Financing Flexibility Act introduced on Tuesday by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., aims at helping states, cities and town spur investment in rural broadband projects. The bill would provide state and local governments with new financing options for broadband projects, giving states and localities access to additional tools to invest in rural broadband.

Butterfield’s legislation will retire the eligible telecommunications carrier designation requirements, which, according to the NCTA, “unfairly prevent qualified ISPs from participating in federal universal support programs.” By removing the requirements, more service providers with a history of competently operating broadband networks will participate in the federally funded programs.

Ideally, this will spur competition among more competing internet service providers, who will all seek to bring internet service to underserved areas for the best quality and lowest prices.

Hassan’s and Moore’s bill would allow states to issue tax-exempt bonds in order to finance rural broadband projects. These bonds would be backed by the federal government, which would ensure repayment on the bonds, thereby making the purchasing of such assets a riskless investment. Additionally, the legislation would create a federal tax credit that states and localities could direct toward rural broadband projects.

“I’ve been pursuing every angle to ensure rural areas get reliable, affordable connectivity,” Capito said. “This legislation will provide additional funding opportunities for communities looking to invest in rural broadband. I’m proud to team up with Sen. Hassan again to reintroduce this legislation that will help close the digital divide in West Virginia and across rural America by incentivizing buildout and expanding financing options.”

Continue Reading

Rural

Accurate Maps Required To Estimate Cost Of Connecting Rural America, Experts Say

Experts say it’s difficult to get an understanding of cost for connecting rural regions without quality maps.

Published

on

Screenshot of David Scott from the House agriculture meeting

May 21, 2021 — Two new bills introduced into Congress this week both aim to accelerate the rate at which quality broadband access reaches unserved and underserved Americans living in rural communities.

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Deployment Act introduced Thursday by Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., seeks to repeal unnecessary eligibility requirements that prevent otherwise qualified internet service providers from participation in federal universal support programs designed to close broadband access gaps nationwide. Universal support programs are federally funded and operate on the belief that all Americans should have access to communications services.

The bipartisan Rural Broadband Financing Flexibility Act introduced on Tuesday by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., aims at helping states, cities and town spur investment in rural broadband projects. The bill would provide state and local governments with new financing options for broadband projects, giving states and localities access to additional tools to invest in rural broadband.

Butterfield’s legislation will retire the eligible telecommunications carrier designation requirements, which, according to the NCTA, “unfairly prevent qualified ISPs from participating in federal universal support programs.” By removing the requirements, more service providers with a history of competently operating broadband networks will participate in the federally funded programs.

Ideally, this will spur competition among more competing internet service providers, who will all seek to bring internet service to underserved areas for the best quality and lowest prices.

Hassan’s and Moore’s bill would allow states to issue tax-exempt bonds in order to finance rural broadband projects. These bonds would be backed by the federal government, which would ensure repayment on the bonds, thereby making the purchasing of such assets a riskless investment. Additionally, the legislation would create a federal tax credit that states and localities could direct toward rural broadband projects.

“I’ve been pursuing every angle to ensure rural areas get reliable, affordable connectivity,” Capito said. “This legislation will provide additional funding opportunities for communities looking to invest in rural broadband. I’m proud to team up with Sen. Hassan again to reintroduce this legislation that will help close the digital divide in West Virginia and across rural America by incentivizing buildout and expanding financing options.”

Continue Reading

Recent

Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field

 

Trending