Bill to Establish Rural Broadband Office

Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) recently introduced bipartisan legislation to establish the Office of Rural Broadband at the FCC This office would help coordinate federal resources so that more people in rural communities would have access to reliable, affordable telecommunications, and broadband services.

Under the legislation, the FCC Office of Rural Broadband would coordinate with USDA, the National Technology Information Administration (NTIA), Universal Services Administration Company, and others to ensure that all federal agencies with jurisdiction over rural broadband will work together to maximized federal funding and coordinate efforts to improve and sustain broadband services in rural areas.

The Office would be responsible for tracking broadband adoption rates in rural areas, remove barriers to broadband deployment, assess the impact of FCC actions on rural consumers, and provide annual reports on progress.

Representatives Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Collen Peterson (D-MN) have introduced similar legislation in the House that would establish the Office of Rural Telecommunications at the FCC. Both bills are supported by NTCA (Rural Broadband Association), North Dakota Association of Telecom Cooperatives, and the Minnesota Telecom Alliance

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