Rep. Kilmer Introduces Bill To Bring Broadband Internet To Rural Areas

Representative Derek Kilmer has introduced the Broadband for All Act to assist rural residents.

According to Kilmer, the bill creates refundable tax credits for businesses and groups of people who team up to build the infrastructure that connects them to the country’s existing rural broadband service.

“Too many rural communities are being left behind in our economy because America’s internet infrastructure doesn’t reach them,” Kilmer said. “Connecting communities to high-speed internet will create more economic opportunities for more people in more places. It will lead to new jobs and businesses, empower students by placing new information at their fingertips, and help rural communities get in on the economic growth we’re seeing that’s been largely concentrated in America’s cities.”

Kilmer introduced the bill along with Representative Elise Stefanik of New York.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) classifies broadband internet as an internet connection with a download speed of at least 25 megabits per second. For perspective, that is also the minimum speed recommendation for Ultra HD quality streaming on Netflix.

According to the FCC, fewer than two thirds of Americans living in rural areas have access to broadband, while 97 percent of Americans in cities have access to at least the slowest version of broadband internet.

According to Recode the average US household has an internet connection that is nearly three times faster than 25 mbps.

Kilmer said that at a discussion with tribal members in Grays Harbor, a resident said that his tribe’s library can’t access the internet, meaning residents need to travel to another area to apply for jobs online, look up health care information or connect with family members on social media or through email.

The Broadband for All Act would create a new tax credit of up to 75% for groups of two or more homeowners or businesses to help cover the cost of building the infrastructure needed to get them online. The tax refund applies to any available technology, so each group can choose the best option that bridges the “last-mile” gap between their homes and businesses and the existing broadband service network.

By:  KXRO News
Source: KXRO