Rep. Rick Allen: Broadband Funds Must Target Rural America

Congressman Rick W. Allen (GA-12), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, spoke on the House floor last night highlighting the importance of accurate federal broadband maps in ensuring funds appropriated by Congress fulfill the broadband needs of rural America. Congressman Allen’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, can be found below.

07.21.21 Rural Broadband OMS

Congress has appropriated well over $300 billion to state and local governments over the past 14 months to help provide broadband access, but we must ensure these funds are being utilized to meet the needs of rural America.

This is only possible if federal broadband maps are accurate.

Last Congress I supported the Broadband DATA Act, which was signed into law and directed the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, to allow independent, third-party data to challenge these maps.

Many states, including Georgia, have already done their own work to identify areas with immediate broadband needs.

I recently sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to the FCC urging them to utilize data from the Georgia Broadband Map program in their new mapping program, and insisting that regular updates be provided to Congress.

House Agriculture Republicans have also introduced the Broadband for Rural America Act, which will provide targeted assistance to the least-connected residents.

I look forward to working on a bipartisan solution to ensure every household has broadband access while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

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