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New Legislation for Rural Broadband Deployment

03.29.12 – U.S. Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), introduced new legislation, The Broadband Connections for Rural Opportunities Program Act of 2012 [S.2271], regarding grants to subsidize rural broadband deployment.  The Act would amend the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 by implementing the grant program to provide funds to private stakeholders, non-profits, government entities, and higher education institutions for facilitating broadband deployment in rural or underserved areas.  The proposed legislation would also allow the Department of Agriculture to award each grant, up to fifty percent of project costs.  The Act would amend the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 by adding Section 604, which allocates funds to create a national clearinghouse containing easily accessible information concerning “options, opportunities, resources, successful public-private partnerships, comprehensive funding sources, and technology tutorials for rural broadband.”  Lastly, the Act calls for a report to be made to Congress concerning the effectiveness of current Federal broadband assistance programs and broadband access policies for rural and underserved areas, best practices of broadband adoption by state and local governments, and the coordination of federal efforts for rural broadband deployment.

[Source: U.S. Government Printing Office]

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.