03.13.18

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Renews Call for Stronger Investment in Rural Broadband

Baldwin Addresses Expanding Rural Broadband during Senate Commerce Subcommittee Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today renewed her call to expand access to high speed broadband in Wisconsin’s rural communities. The federal infrastructure plan released by President Trump earlier this year failed to include critical rural development priorities to help support rural business development, create jobs and spur new economic growth. Senator Baldwin has long fought for Washington to step up and be a stronger partner to rural communities by providing additional funding to help expand rural broadband access for communities across Wisconsin.

“Like a number of my colleagues on the subcommittee, from both sides of the aisle, I wrote to President Trump urging him to include dollars specifically for broadband, and particularly in rural America,” said Senator Baldwin during the hearing. “While I’m disappointed that he chose not to do so, the Senate Democrats in putting forward our own infrastructure proposal did include broadband, and I think as Congress advances an infrastructure package that we must address this critical need for our communities.”

Senator Baldwin discussed with the panelists the need for stronger rural broadband funding in any federal infrastructure investment and how new resources can be utilized in ensuring the most effective deployment of broadband to rural areas that are currently unserved or underserved, including with Bob DeBroux from Madison-based TDS Telecom, who is also a member of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee.

The panelists agreed that a more strategic disbursement of resources and further communication between stakeholders are needed to help address rural broadband challenges throughout the country.

Senator Baldwin has used her role to sound the alarm and press for stronger federal investment to help Wisconsin’s rural communities. From pressing the U.S. Trade Representative to act on Canada’s unfair trade barriers that are harming Wisconsin’s dairy farmers to fighting back against President Trump’s unnecessary budget cuts for rural development, Senator Baldwin is keeping the pressure on this administration to reinvest in rural communities to create jobs and boost economic growth.

In January, Senator Baldwin met with the Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to share Wisconsin’s priorities for rural development and urge the Trump administration to invest in our rural communities and include critical rural development priorities in the President’s infrastructure plan.