Background: The House and Senate have passed the 2018 Farm Bill conference report with bipartisan support. The bill includes provisions to build and connect more Americans to high speed broadband, particularly in rural and unserved areas of the country.
The following statement can be attributed to Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO, USTelecom:
“Completing the job of connecting every rural American community to the internet will require sustained federal investment and the Farm Bill is an important, but still partial, down payment on the public/private partnership necessary to do that.
“The bill expands the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service loan and grant programs, bolsters coordination among federal agencies to prevent wasteful overbuilding, and prioritizes projects that extend connectivity to families that lack access. More work remains to ensure scarce federal dollars are reaching truly unserved areas, and we look forward to working with the new Congress to make this happen.
“USTelecom appreciates the leadership of Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Shimkus (R-IL) and the meaningful step they took today.”