Collins Wants Rural Broadband

Introduced legislation to address poor internet coverage

Richard Root
January 17, 2018 - 3:19 am

Washington, DC (WBEN) - Congressman Chris Collins introduced legislation yesterday that will attempt to address a long-standing issue for rural communities: poor or non-existent broadband coverage.

For people living away from cities and towns where broadband coverage is taken for granted, Collins' legislation makes a lot of sense. Typically, the best internet service comes from tethering to a smart phone.

The bill would create a national federal registry of communications infrastructure to help address the lack of high-speed internet access in rural areas. This registry will help determine which assets are available for lease to better expand access and will facilitate coordination between federal, state, and local governments, as well as between carriers.

“It is almost unbelievable to think that approximately 65% of my district is underserved by broadband technology and about 3% is completely unserved,” said Collins. “Broadband access is important to our rural communities as our reliance on the internet continues to grow for education, starting and administrating a business, receiving care from a doctor, or just plain shopping.”

Broadband companies have historically found it time-consuming, expensive, and complicated to reach the communities that currently lack access. This inventory would be available to communications providers, and include a description of assets, their locations, and a point of contact from each agency for more information on a given asset.

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