Senate Bill Would Reserve Broadband Funding for Unserved Areas

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Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Steve Daines (R-MT) have introduced the Reprioritizing Unserved Rural Areas and Locations for Broadband (RURAL Broadband) Act of 2018 (S. 2970). The bill would amend the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to prioritize federal funds for broadband infrastructure to unserved areas. Specifically, S. 2970 would bar Rural Utilities Service loans and grants from being used to fund broadband infrastructure that would overbuild or otherwise duplicate infrastructure used by a provider that receives universal service support. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry for consideration.

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