Senator Smith Introduces Bill to Increase Rural Broadband Access

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota Senator Tina Smith is continuing her push to make high speed internet access available to everyone.

She joined three other Senators in introducing a bipartisan bill this month that would focus Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program funds to communities in greatest need to establish broadband services.

“The federal government is investing billions of dollars in expanding broadband,” says Senator Smith.  “Working with local communities and local telecoms, and we want to make sure that those dollars are being coordinated and getting out where they need to go as best as possible.  And honestly that is not happening right now.  This is something we have to work on, and that’s a big part of what I want to get accomplished.”

Smith says thousands across the state would see an improvement to their everyday lives, allowing them to work and attend school from home, and compares this effort to rural electrification done a century ago.

“We said every American needs to be able to turn the lights on and have electric power,” says Senator Smith, “and the same is true today when it comes to broadband access.”

The bill also focuses on preventing federal funds from overbuilding the broadband network as new lines and hotspots are established.

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