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Tonko Introduces Bill to Increase Broadband Access in Underserved Areas

ACCESS BROADBAND Act would establish coordinating office for federal broadband resources

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Washington, October 11, 2017 | comments
“Broadband Internet access is often the difference between success and failure for students doing homework, job seekers training for a new career, doctors reading a medical scan or entrepreneurs starting a small business. However, to date the federal government has done a poor job of tracking broadband deployment. Investments are made with little accountability and oversight on behalf of the taxpayer. This bill will simplify the process for private and public sector leaders to tap into existing federal broadband resources and help ensure that a zip code does not define the economic potential of our students, doctors, entrepreneurs and the communities they call home.” - Rep. Paul Tonko
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WASHINGTON – This morning, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) announced the introduction of H.R. 3994, the Advancing Critical Connectivity Expands Service, Small Business Resources, Opportunities, Access and Data Based on Assessed Need and Demand, or ACCESS BROADBAND, Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bipartisan bill, introduced with Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), would streamline management of federal broadband resources across multiple agencies and simplify the process for small businesses and local economic developers to access them. Leveraging these existing federal broadband resources could unlock significant broadband development in many unserved and underserved areas in New York, New Jersey and throughout the country.

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY): “Broadband Internet access is often the difference between success and failure for students doing homework, job seekers training for a new career, doctors reading a medical scan or entrepreneurs starting a small business. However, to date the federal government has done a poor job of tracking broadband deployment. Investments are made with little accountability and oversight on behalf of the taxpayer. This bill will simplify the process for private and public sector leaders to tap into existing federal broadband resources and help ensure that a zip code does not define the economic potential of our students, doctors, entrepreneurs and the communities they call home.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ): “Broadband Internet is the lifeblood of the American economy, a critical tool for students and an incubator for the next great innovation.  This bill takes the right steps to ensure federal broadband resources are working to expand access in underserved areas.  Being able to access the Internet means being able to unlock tremendous potential and we have to make sure all Americans share in this success. Many local economies are relying on Congress to get this right.”

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