Representatives including Mark Pocan, https://pocan.house.gov, Cheri Bustos https://bustos.house.gov, Jared Huffman https://huggman.house.gov, Hal Rogers https://rodgers.house.gov, and Elise Stefanik https://stefanik.house.gov 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