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Midwest Lawmakers Lament Rural Broadband Divide

Midwest lawmakers complain the lack of broadband access in rural America is simply “unacceptable,” as Congress considers several bills to bring huge swaths of the country into the 21st Century. Earlier this week, the House Agriculture Committee gave unanimous approval to a proposed $50 billion package called the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act. West Central Missouri Republican Vicky Hartzler spoke favorably of the measure during Wednesday’s markup hearing.

Northwest Illinois Democrat Cheri Bustos says more than one in four households in her district lack access to the internet. She argues that the measure will help.

Updating and extending USDA’s Broadband Reconnect Program and other efforts in the $50 billion, eight-year bill will also boost small business, long-distance learning and telemedicine. However, several backers are concerned that the widely supported measure might not make it across the finish line if it becomes consumed by any expected partisan debate over a much wider infrastructure package.

From NAFB News Service