The Senate early Friday morning passed and sent to the president, a $1.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 1625, to keep the government funded through September 30. The measure contains $600 million in federal funding for rural broadband deployment. President Donald Trump signed the bill into law Friday afternoon, averting another government shutdown.
The money is to be distributed by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). “Small
telcos have a proven track record in overcoming challenges in rural
areas to provide robust, sustainable broadband, and their many efforts
in conjunction with long-standing, highly-effective U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) backing are the embodiment of precisely the kinds of
public-private partnerships that our nation should be leveraging to
tackle such challenges in the future,” said NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield.
The new effort will be coordinated with existing broadband-focused
initiatives within RUS and at the FCC. Continue Reading