WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced that she and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced the American Broadband Buildout Act, bipartisan legislation to increase access to fast and reliable broadband service to unserved communities.
Rosen’s office stated the bill would require that projects that receive funding be located in “unserved” areas, where broadband is unavailable at speeds that meet the FCC’s standard. The bill would require that this federal funding be matched through public-private partnerships between the broadband service provider and the state in which the infrastructure project will be built.
The legislation would require that projects be designed to be “future proof,” meaning that the infrastructure installed must be capable of delivering higher-speeds as broadband accelerates in the future. It would direct the FCC to prioritize the funding of projects in states that have traditionally lagged behind the national average in terms of broadband subscribers and are at risk of falling further behind as broadband speeds increase. And it would provide grants to states and state-designated entities for digital literacy and public awareness campaigns highlighting the benefits and possibilities of broadband service.“Access to fast, reliable broadband is critical for families all across the state of Nevada — including in our rural communities — to do everything from attending school online to conducting business,” Rosen said. “I’m proud to co-lead this bipartisan legislation which would help ensure broadband access for Nevada’s rural communities and help to improve quality of life during this challenging time.”