Senators introduce bill to expand internet service to rural areas

State News

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (August 2019)

WASHINGTON (KVEO) — A bill introduced to Congress on Thursday aims to increase internet service in rural areas across the country.

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) put together the legislation in hopes of helping out residents in rural areas.

The bill, named the Eliminate the Digital Divide Act, would set aside funds to be distributed to internet service providers who choose to build networks for unserved individuals.

A $10 billion program will be created and distributed to governors based on which states have more unserved areas.

Additionally, the bill calls on the government to create state and federal subsidy programs for low-income families who might live in areas with internet capabilities but do not have the means to pay for them.

“As we increasingly depend on digital communication to work, learn, and stay connected, we must not leave those without access to broadband in the dark,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This bill will help bridge the digital divide and ensure Texans have access to more affordable broadband options across the state. Allowing governors, not bureaucrats in Washington, to direct broadband dollars is crucial to ensuring Texans are connected.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott commended the bill and announced his support for it.

“At a time when high-speed internet is increasingly important to Texans’ daily lives, it is essential that we continue to expand broadband access throughout the state,” said Governor Abbott.

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