Legislation to expand broadband access

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Today, Congressman Jack Bergman introduced The Rural Broadband Connectivity Act of 2019 – which would incentivize businesses to deploy broadband infrastructure in areas currently lacking sufficient access to the internet.

“First District communities struggle to compete in the 21st Century economy without proper online connectivity. Telehealth consultations, telecommuting, advertising, shopping, and even school work are common activities that may not be feasible for households and businesses with limited access to broadband. This legislation would harness private investment by encouraging internet service providers to branch out into the most underserved communities as they work to expand their services to new customers,” said Bergman.

“Many of my colleagues in Washington cannot imagine what it is like to live in the more remote parts of our nation without online access, so today, we’re bringing substantive policy to the table to bring new opportunity to places like northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.”

Dr. Ralph Abraham, M.D. (LA-05) stated, “Rural Americans deserve access to high-speed broadband Internet as much as anyone else, and communities need that access for economic growth. This bill will encourage businesses to expand broadband Internet to rural America and is an ideal next step to complement other actions we’ve taken this Congress to help connect our constituents to the rest of the world.”

The Rural Broadband Connectivity Act allows providers to collect a tax credit when investments are made to establish internet access in rural areas. Specifically, eligible areas would be census tracts that are rural and underserved. This legislation proposes a solution to cost-prohibitive obstacles providers face when deciding whether to build out infrastructure into sparse, rural areas.

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