— Telecom and utility groups are urging congressional appropriators to continue investing in rural broadband in fiscal year 2020. “The health and productivity of the people we represent throughout rural America are dependent on access to high-quality broadband,” The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, the Utilities Technology Council and nearly two dozen other groups wrote in a letter to Senate and House appropriators. The groups are pressing lawmakers to include $605 million to fund the USDA ReConnect Program, which provides loans and grants to pay for broadband in remote areas without access. “Continued direct federal investment is critical to closing the digital divide and enabling rural consumers to fully participate in our 21st Century economy and society,” they tell Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and ranking member Kay Granger (R-Texas).
Source: POLITICO Morning Tech