Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect and Expand Rural Broadband Access

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Co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen John Thune (R-SD) introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen the funding mechanisms for the Universal Service Fund (USF), which promotes universal access to broadband and other telecommunications services. The USF -- which includes programs to support broadband access in rural communities, facilitate rural health care, and expand access to affordable broadband service for low-income families, schools, and libraries -- is largely funded by fees imposed on landlines. As the use of landlines continues to decline, this places a disproportionate impact on seniors, who are significantly more likely to use a landline than younger adults. The Reforming Broadband Connectivity Act directs the FCC to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to reform the contributions system, taking into account the fairness and the relative burden any changes in fees will have on consumers and businesses, as well as the impact the proposed changes to the contribution system will have on seniors.

Klobuchar, Thune Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect, Expand Rural Broadband Access