Congress prepares to knock down barriers to broadband expansion in rural America

WASHINGTON — On the heels of President Trump’s orders to expand broadband access, Congress is preparing to follow suit with an aggressive push to make high-speed Internet service more readily available in rural America.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who leads a key House subcommittee, said she expects to introduce several pieces of legislation in the next three months to remove the barriers to broadband expansion into rural areas.

“We are going to put this emphasis on getting broadband into these unserved rural areas because you’re not going to have economic development or 21st century health care or expanded education opportunities or workforce and jobs retraining without it,” said Blackburn, chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

Details of the bills are still being worked out, Blackburn said, but the goal is to simplify the permitting process that technology companies say hinders efforts to expand broadband into sparsely populated areas.

Continue reading this article posted by Michael Collins on USA TODAY...