As Congress has worked on several pieces of “must-pass” legislation over the last several days, the Senate and House have worked to finalize a broadband bill that will provide funding for statewide initiatives that will accelerate broadband and produce a positive financial impact that Connected Nation has estimated to be $134 billion annually across the nation.
Last week the U.S. Senate passed S. 1492, the Broadband Data Improvement Act. The text of S. 1965, a bill intended to protect children from cybercrime, was also included in the Senate passed version of S. 1492.
Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 1492 with a technical correction that requires the Senate to pass the new amended version. The technical correction, which pertained to the portion of the bill containing S. 1965, did not impact the Broadband Data Improvement Act’s provisions, and we are hopeful the Senate will act swiftly to pass S. 1492 and send it to the White House for the President’s signature.
A broad coalition comprised of all sectors of the telecommunications community including labor, industry, numerous interest groups and Connected Nation has worked cohesively to press the importance of this bill and the need to finalize it before Congress adjourns this year. The Broadband Data Improvement Act recognizes the value and need for public-private partnerships in a national broadband strategy, as well as the need to focus on both the supply of and demand for high-speed Internet at the community level. Passage of S1492 will create a national broadband map and will spur the creation of statewide broadband initiatives in all 50 states.
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