04.04.19

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Bipartisan ACCESS BROADBAND Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin helped introduce the bipartisan ACCESS BROADBAND Act, bicameral legislation led by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) that fosters the development and growth of broadband resources for businesses as well as underserved urban and rural communities in Wisconsin, and throughout the country.

“Reliable high-speed broadband is critical to strengthening small businesses and communities throughout rural Wisconsin,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our bipartisan legislation will better marshal our federal resources to help bring broadband access for all – no matter where you live in Wisconsin.”

“Far too many communities across Nevada still lack access to high speed broadband,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “The ACCESS BROADBAND Act enhances the federal government’s ability to support the expansion of wireless services and broadband infrastructure essential to helping underserved communities in Nevada, and across America get connected. I look forward to acting on this legislation to lay the groundwork for 5G networks that serve the needs of first responders, businesses and local school districts that need fast, reliable internet. Nevada is the Innovation State, and in order for us to continue being leaders, our communities must have access to high quality broadband that provides our states’ with the 21st century infrastructure they need to thrive.”

“Reliable access to the internet is vital to our economy and way of life, whether for students doing homework, job seekers training for a new career, doctors reading a medical scan or entrepreneurs starting a small business,” said Representative Tonko. “Despite its importance, federal resources supporting broadband expansion are poorly tracked with little coordination across agencies or departments that are doing this work, making it harder for our local businesses and community leaders to access them. This bill is a step towards better broadband access for our communities and better government for all of us.”

The ACCESS BROADBAND Act requires the Department of Commerce to establish the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The bill aims to streamline processes for local businesses to access federal broadband resources through a simplified application process and better oversight of federal broadband support programs.

Senators Baldwin and Cortez Masto introduced the ACCESS BROADBAND Act with Senators Doug Jones (D-AL), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Full text of the bill is available here.