The Rural Broadband Caucus leadership is urging President Joe Biden to make closing the rural digital divide a priority in any infrastructure package.
That came at about the same time as one of the caucus' founders, Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said he would be reintroducing a bill that would spend $100 billion to do just that.
The call for rural broadband came from a bipartisan group of House members comprising Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Mark Pocan (D-Wis), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.), all co-chairs of the caucus.
“As you develop your infrastructure proposal to present to Congress, we write to urge you to include investments that will bring the benefits of broadband connectivity to unserved rural America and tribal areas," they wrote the President. "In the 21st Century, high-speed broadband is no longer a luxury amenity, but rather an essential service for homes and businesses in this interconnected world.”
Clyburn has reached out to the White House to ask that his $100 billion bill be part of any infrastructure package.
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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.