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Wittman introduces bill for pilot grants to expand reliable broadband to 19 million rural Americans

Today, April 6, Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman, who represents part of Prince William County, and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH-6), introduced legislation to create a five-year pilot grant program to expand reliable broadband access.

The Coronavirus outbreak across the nation has further underscored the need for reliable broadband access in every home in America, insists Wittman. Approximately 19 million Americans still lack high speed internet service, he said.

If enacted, the bill will earmark $100 million a year for the next five years to expand broadband service to unserved areas of the country. The Wittman-Johnson Bill is being called the “Serving Rural America Act.”  The program would be managed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“In this time of crisis, demand for high speed broadband has never been greater; closing the digital divide is the key to lifting up countless communities and populations in unserved areas,” said Wittman.

“The grant program created by this legislation encourages coordination between providers to better determine the available service in a proposed service area and prevents overbuilding by limiting federal broadband support to one provider in a rural area.

“It is technology neutral to ensure new infrastructure is viable for generations. This is must-pass legislation to ensure we close the digital divide in America,”  he added

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