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E-BRIDGE Act Passes the House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) issued the following statement after The Eliminating Barriers to Rural Internet Development Grant Eligibility (E-BRIDGE) Act, which he cosponsored, passed the House today with major bipartisan support. The E-BRIDGE Act will now head to the Senate for further consideration.

“Over the last year and a half, many Virginians have adapted to distance learning, tele-working, and more from the comfort of their own homes,” said Wittman. “Driving these changes has been the availability of high-speed broadband. But still, many rural Virginians lack reliable broadband access to flourish in today’s digital society. Furthermore, in a vast number of cases, we need only connect the ‘last mile’ to finally close the digital divide.

“That is why I cosponsored the E-BRIDGE Act, and I am glad to see it pass the House. The E-BRIDGE Act breaks down barriers in existing federal grant programs to unlock more funding to get “last mile” internet infrastructure projects completed. It also ensures that local communities can partner with the private sector in carrying out broadband projects and gives communities more flexibility in complying with their funding match requirements. Moreover, it provides flexibility in the procurement process to account for limited availability of broadband services in distressed communities.

“When it comes to helping rural Virginians gain access to reliable broadband, the last thing we need is the government slowing down progress and delaying shovel-ready projects. The House passage of this legislation represents a significant step in the right direction, and I hope to see it enacted in the future."