I am so impressed with Congressional leadership on rural broadband over the course of the past year…nearly 200 Members of Congress sending letters to the FCC urging support for more predictable and sufficient USF support for rural broadband networks and then today, Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introducing the Office of Rural Broadband Act. The bill establishes an office at the FCC to coordinate efforts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to ensure coordination across multiple federal agencies. A logic and thoughtful next step with all of the efforts on rural broadband underway.
With much-needed initiatives underway within multiple agencies to promote a shared national vision of universal broadband access, it is more important than ever to ensure that such efforts are coordinated with and complement one another. Introducing the Office of Rural Broadband Act not only demonstrates support by Senators Hoeven and Klobuchar for promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of such efforts, but also in seeing that the broadband needs of rural Americans will remain a top priority. Talk about putting your efforts where your mouth is!
Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Collin Peterson (D. Minn.) introduced similar legislation several weeks ago in the U.S. House of Representatives and all four of these congressional leaders deserve a great deal of credit for their good government perspective.