Individuals who primarily Reside in a Rural Area

Chairwoman Stabenow Unveils the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) unveiled the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act, which contains more than 100 bipartisan bills and puts the 2024 Farm Bill back on track to being signed into law by the end of 2024. The Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act reflects more than two years of bipartisan work on the Senate Agriculture Committee and incorporates more than 100 bipartisan bills and the work of Senators on and off the Committee.

What Did NTIA's Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth Accomplish in 2023?

Congress included the ACCESS BROADBAND Act in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and established the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG) within the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). On April 30, OICG released its annual report detailing the office's work for 2023. OICG administers broadband programs created by both the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Four interconnected core pillars drive OICG’s initiatives, strategy, and key accomplishments:

Biden’s internet-for-all program needs Musk’s help

Elon Musk’s satellite internet service, Starlink, is expected to play a role in the Biden administration’s $42 billion program to bring high-speed internet to every American home, as Washington comes up against some hard math in its effort to build networks reaching the most remote corners of the nation. The growing discussion of using Starlink to fill in coverage gaps is an acknowledgment of just how expensive and challenging it would be to run new internet cables up every mountain and down every valley nationwide.

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Delivers on Permitting Progress to Build America’s Infrastructure and Clean Energy Future Faster, Safer, and Cleaner

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is making once-in-a-generation investments in America’s infrastructure and our clean energy future that are creating good-paying and union jobs, establishing and growing new industries in the United States, tackling the climate crisis, and helping lower costs for families. To deploy these investments, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken aggressive action to accelerate project permitting and environmental reviews.

Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth Annual Report 2023

The ACCESS BROADBAND Act requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG) to submit to relevant congressional committees and publish on its website an annual report that contains a description of OICG’s work for the previous year and the number of U.S.

Connect Humanity Announces New Impact Fund With Support From Microsoft To Tackle Appalachia’s Digital Divide

Connect Humanity, a non-profit impact investor, is collaborating with Microsoft to support high-speed internet access and adoption in underserved Appalachian communities. Connect Humanity’s IDEA Fund (Investing in Digital Equity Appalachia) plans to invest in community-focused internet service providers which are best placed to meet the digital needs of residents and businesses in Appalachia’s unserved areas. Connect Humanity aims to convene a diverse group of capital partners including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), banks, impact investors, and foundations to meet th

Rural, older Americans could get hurt as affordable internet program runs out of cash

Since 2021, struggling Americans have made ends meet with the help of a popular federal benefit known as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which covers home internet service. But in just a few weeks their internet bills could skyrocket by hundreds of dollars a year. That’s because the ACP is running out of funds—and Congress shows no signs it will approve more. Policy experts have described the situation as a fast-approaching economic crisis and a major step backward for closing the digital divide between internet haves and have-nots.

New Mexico Broadband Director Talks Bid-Worthy Project Areas, Technology Mix

Many state broadband directors are keeping their fingers crossed that all the areas eligible for Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program rural broadband funding receive bids. But it’s a particularly big challenge for New Mexico, as the state’s broadband director Drew Lovelace explained. “New Mexico hits a trifecta of challenges in geography, size, and rurality. A lot of states have one or two of these, we have all three,” said Lovelace. New Mexico is the fifth largest state in land mass, but only 36th in population.

Reps. Kelly, Thompson, Smith introduce legislation to expand Americans' telehealth options

Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Adrian Smith (R-NE)  introduced H.R. 8151, bipartisan legislation that would permanently expand the list of practitioners eligible who provide telehealth services to include qualified physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and audiologists. Currently, these practitioners do not have permanent authorization to deliver electronic or virtual care to their patients. Families have come to rely on telehealth since the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the Pandemic Changed Broadband

 There are several important changes to the broadband industry that came out of our collective pandemic experience.