Wittman leads action on rural broadband in next COVID-19 relief, infrastructure package
Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) today continued his ongoing efforts to expand access to rural broadband, requesting the prioritization of direct funding support for rural broadband development in the president’s upcoming infrastructure proposal.
This letter follows another letter from Congressman Wittman sent on Friday to House and Senate leadership requesting they prioritize the delivery of broadband services to rural communities most impacted by the effects of the Coronavirus in future relief bills.
“As our nation deals with the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are doing their utmost to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by utilizing telework, distance learning, and telehealth capabilities,” Congressman Wittman wrote to congressional leaders. “The new realities and the certain upcoming new normal have left millions of rural Americans, who have inadequate or no connectivity to high-speed broadband, feeling abandoned and are in frantic need of relief to compete in the 21st century economy.”
“I encourage the inclusion of connectivity investments in your infrastructure proposal,” Wittman wrote to President Trump. “I remain committed to working with you to deliver the promise of broadband connectivity to rural America.
“America has been hindered as a result of our nation’s aging, deteriorating infrastructure for too long. Modernizing our nation’s infrastructure will benefit every American, and it will make us safer, more resilient, and more financially stable. It will create well-paying jobs, increase productivity, hone our nation’s competitive position, and ensure future economic success.”
In March, Wittman introduced the Serving Rural America Act. This legislation would create a pilot grant program at the FCC authorizing $500 million over five years to expand broadband service to unserved areas of the country. Under the act, grants would be awarded to eligible applicants that would consist of a partnership between an internet service provider and a locality—such as a county or planning district commission.