Bill to Fund Rural Broadband

Representatives including Mark Pocan,, Cheri Bustos, Jared Huffman, Hal Rogers, and Elise Stefanik have reintroduced the “Broadband Connections for Rural Opportunities Program Act” known as the B-CROP Act.

This bill would award grant funding to rural broadband projects in high need in combination with the current loan funding available through USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. The B-CROP Act proposes policies to target federal funds to rural and tribal areas in the highest need regardless of where Americans live, work, or retire.

The B-CROP Act would:

  • Allow for grants of up to 50 percent of a project’s cost and up to 75 percent for remote high need areas
  • Coordinate with the FCC’s Universal Service High Cost Support programs
  • Increase funding for USDA’s Rural Utilities Service’s broadband programs to $50 million per fiscal year.
  • Provide adequate resources to private sector providers to expand broadband access to unserved rural areas
  • Give partnership projects special attention
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