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Wittman Praises Administration’s Intent to Expand Access to Rural Broadband

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Washington, February 16, 2018 | comments

Wittman Praises Administration’s Intent to Expand Access to Rural Broadband

WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman released this statement regarding President Trump’s comments on rural broadband investments:

“I am thrilled that President Trump is serious about investments to expand access to broadband internet. High speed internet access, or broadband, is critical to economic growth, job creation, education, and healthcare. We can no longer leave Americans in rural areas on the sidelines. Using the money allocated to “rural infrastructure” towards expanding access to broadband is imperative and it is my priority to make sure that happens,” Wittman said.

In a meeting this week with bipartisan state governors and mayors, President Trump acknowledged the need to expand broadband access to rural Americans within a proposed infrastructure plan.

On January 17, 2018 Congressman Wittman sent a letter to the Trump Administration advocating for increasing access to broadband in rural areas. Rep. Wittman urged the administration to include policies promoting broadband investments in any upcoming infrastructure package. Rep. Wittman has been a leader on promoting access to broadband in rural areas. Currently almost 50% of rural Virginians either lack access to high speed internet or 29% don’t have any internet service at all. In October, the Congressman organized the creation and first meeting of a Rural Broadband Task Force. At the Northern Neck Electrical Cooperative, Congressman Wittman was joined by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, regional stakeholders, and state and local officials to discuss ways of improving speeds and expanding internet access. Among the issues discussed were eliminating the labyrinth of red tape and regulations, defining prescriptive easements, establishing dig once policies, and strengthening public-private partnerships. A video of the entire event is available here.

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

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