US House Committee Approves Bipartisan Legislation Expanding Rural Broadband Access
Umer Jamshaid 2 months ago Thu 29th July 2021 | 02:00 AM
WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 29th July, 2021) Legislation designed to remove barriers to expanding internet access to rural communities won bipartisan approval in the US House Transportation Committee, the panel announced on Wednesday.
"H.R. 3193 removes hurdles for broadband projects under Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants, including difficult last-mile efforts that often delay rural broadband deployment," the Transportation Committee said in a press release.
The measure also ensures that local communities can partner with the private sector in carrying out broadband projects and still meet requirements for matching federal subsidies, the release said.
"It doesn't matter how old you are or where you live, Americans of all walks of life use the internet for everything, from precision agriculture, to telemedicine, to school and work," the committee's ranking Republican Sam Graves said in the release.
Just 22.3 percent of Americans in rural areas and 27.7 percent of Americans in Tribal lands lack coverage from fixed terrestrial broadband with download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, a recent report by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said.
In contrast, just 1.5 percent of Americans in urban areas lack comparable high-speed internet access, according to the FCC.