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High speed broadband has the potential to revolutionize the way rural populations live their lives. Many families, students and businesses in rural areas struggle to gain access to key services such as telemedicine, distance-learning, online banking, and grant applications that help small businesses compete in the 21st Century. 

Addressing the challenges to broadband expansion in unserved areas and developing innovative solutions that bridge the digital divide between urban and rural America remain top priorities of mine in Congress. We must work to identify ways states and localities can partner with the federal government to better focus resources on unserved areas.

For me, the issue of rural broadband dates back more than 20 years to my time on the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors. As Co-Chair of the bi-partisan House Rural Broadband Caucus, and through the First District Broadband Task Force, I have consistently worked to get more folks and businesses connected to the internet. I've helped draft legislation to improve mapping, add more money to fund broadband, and hold Internet Service Providers accountable to ensure accurate coverage. 

Additionally, my Serving Rural America Act, introduced in the Spring of 2020, served as the model for the NTIA Broadband Infrastructure Program, a $288 million broadband deployment program directed to partnerships between a state, county, or town, and providers of fixed broadband service to support broadband infrastructure deployment to areas lacking reliable internet. 

Burdensome regulations hinder shovel-ready projects from providing broadband access to unserved populations and throughout the country. I am a proud cosponsor of the Broadband Permitting Modernization Act, a package of commonsense, cost-effective legislative proposals advanced to modernize broadband permitting on federal lands. By streamlining our federal permitting process, we can help better connect more than 23 million Americans currently with little or no access to broadband to the digital economy. Closing the digital divide is the key to lifting up countless communities in unserved areas. 

Click here to get the most up to date information about my views and work on broadband issues.