President Donald Trump says rural areas are going to get broadband as part of his infrastructure plan as a way to address what he signaled was an "unfair" lack of such access.
"[T]he rural folks have been left out, including broadband Internet access, which they don't have," President Trump said Monday in a meeting with state and local officials on his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, according to a transcript supplied by the White House. "And they want it, and the farmers want it. It will create thousands and thousands of jobs, and increase training for our great American workers, and it returns power to the state and local governments who know best what their people need.
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin thanked the President for the broadband portion of the infrastructure package, which will be an as-et undetermined piece of a $50 billion investment in rural infrastructure. "We'd love to have -- whether it's white spaces, fiber networks, you name it -- there's plenty of opportunities for us to grow and expand our Internet capacities all throughout the United States," Walker said.
The President signaled a lot of the money would be going to broadband. "[I]t's been very unfair what's happened with broadband in terms of the Midwest and in terms, really, of rural areas, as you know," the President said. "And you, sort of, were a victim of it, too. But now it's going to be taken care of. We're spending a great deal of money on that. It's only fair. And they want it. They want it. They know how to use it. They want it. And we're going to get it."
The President has said rural broadband access is a priority, making that point in a speech to a farm group last month.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.