CRAMER INTRODUCES RURAL UTILITY SERVICE BILL
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer introduced the Reprioritizing Unserved Rural Areas and Locations (RURAL) for Broadband Act of 2018 this week.
The RURAL Broadband Act ensures government resources are being used as efficiently as possible while developing broadband networks in rural areas. The bill prioritizes the Rural Utility Service (RUS) funds to unserved areas over underserved areas which are already receiving some Universal Service Fund (USF) resources.
Cramer said, “Deploying broadband to rural America takes coordinated efforts from Congress and the managing agencies. With this legislation, Congress is ensuring funds are being effectively distributed to unserved areas.”
Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced identical language as a bill in the Senate, S. 2970.
Since arriving in Congress, Cramer has supported efforts to enhance broadband connectivity for rural states like North Dakota. He has led letters in the House of Representatives for two consecutive years, gaining the support of more than 100 colleagues, to urge the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to address USF funding challenges and promote telecommunication services in rural America.
In addition, Cramer and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) introduced legislation in April to direct the FCC to establish a Rural Telecommunications Office and improve agency efforts between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s RUS, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC).
The NTCA-Rural Broadband Association endorsed the legislation and thanked Cramer for his leadership in the House on the RURAL Broadband Act.