Klobuchar, Capito, King, Boozman, Heitkamp Urge President Trump to Include Dedicated, Stand-Alone Funding for Broadband Deployment

According to Senator Klobuchar’s website

In a letter to President Trump, Klobuchar, Capito, King, Boozman, and Heitkamp—the co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus—call for the prioritization of direct funding support for broadband deployment in an infrastructure package that will help close the digital divide and ensure our country maintains its global competitiveness

Without dedicated funding for broadband deployment, proposals to bring broadband to unserved areas may struggle to compete with other larger infrastructure projects; Stand-alone funding for broadband will ensure that telecommunications infrastructure is advanced alongside needed upgrades to our roads, rail, bridges, ports and waterways

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Angus King (I-ME), John Boozman (R-AR), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), the co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus, have urged President Donald Trump to include dedicated, stand-alone funding for broadband deployment in an infrastructure proposal. Without dedicated funding for broadband deployment, proposals to bring broadband to unserved areas may struggle to compete with larger infrastructure projects. Stand-alone funding for broadband will ensure that telecommunications infrastructure is advanced alongside needed upgrades to our roads, rail, bridges, ports and waterways. In a letter to President Trump, the senators call for the prioritization of direct funding support for broadband deployment in an infrastructure package that will help close the digital divide and ensure our country maintains its global competitiveness.

“As you consider a plan to address the infrastructure needs of our country, the co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus write to urge you to include dedicated, stand-alone funding for broadband deployment. Our rural communities have connectivity needs that are not being met, limiting economic opportunity and growth,” the senators wrote. “In parts of the country where geography or population density make deploying and maintaining broadband networks a significant challenge, stand-alone support will help bring economic and social benefits for rural consumers.”

The senators continued, “There is strong bipartisan support for including broadband funding in an infrastructure package. Boosting current investments in broadband deployment will provide new economic opportunities in communities that are struggling to compete. Expanding access to broadband is the infrastructure challenge of our generation and an infrastructure plan for the 21st century must address the broadband connectivity issues facing rural America.”

Last year, the co-chairs of the Senate Broadband Caucus led 48 senators in urging President Trump to prioritize policies that will promote the deployment of high-speed, reliable broadband for all Americans as part of any infrastructure initiative.

The full text of the lawmakers’ letter is below.

Dear Mr. President:

As you consider a plan to address the infrastructure needs of our country, the co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus write to urge you to include dedicated, stand-alone funding for broadband deployment. Our rural communities have connectivity needs that are not being met, limiting economic opportunity and growth. Prioritizing direct funding support for broadband deployment in an infrastructure package will help close the digital divide and ensure our country maintains its global competitiveness.

Policies that encourage investment in communications infrastructure and streamline the construction process will help speed up the deployment of high-speed broadband. However, these policies must support, not replace, investments in rural America. In parts of the country where geography or population density make deploying and maintaining broadband networks a significant challenge, stand-alone support will help bring economic and social benefits for rural consumers.

Bringing new telecommunications infrastructure to unserved consumers in the most rural, low-density parts of the country can be aided by direct federal investments. In these communities, generating private investment can be difficult. Without dedicated funding for broadband deployment, proposals to bring broadband to unserved areas may struggle to compete with other larger infrastructure projects. Stand-alone funding for broadband will ensure that telecommunications infrastructure is advanced alongside needed upgrades to our roads, rail, bridges, ports and waterways.

There is strong bipartisan support for including broadband funding in an infrastructure package. Boosting current investments in broadband deployment will provide new economic opportunities in communities that are struggling to compete. Expanding access to broadband is the infrastructure challenge of our generation and an infrastructure plan for the 21st century must address the broadband connectivity issues facing rural America.

Thank you for your attention to this important request. We look forward to working with you on this critical issue.

Sincerely,

This entry was posted in Funding, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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