100°F
weather icon Clear

Broadband access for rural areas part of proposed agency’s mission

WASHINGTON — Two Western states’ lawmakers have filed legislation that would establish a specific internet agency to streamline management of federal broadband services to help rural customers and small businesses.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., filed the bill Wednesday to create a simpler process for businesses and economic developers to access broadband resources through local federal workshops.

“Nevadans rely on internet access to enhance their education, acquire skills through training resources available online, and expand their business opportunities,” Cortez Masto said.

She added that “better coordination between federal agencies and local governments to streamline broadband access will help ensure that every Nevadan will have the information and resources they need to gain the important benefits of Internet access.”

Gardner said the legislation would “improve oversight of federal broadband programs and ensure that we’re spending money effectively to narrow the urban-rural digital divide,” Gardner said.

“Avoiding overbuilding and streamlining grant application processes will help expand rural broadband and keep communities in rural Colorado and beyond connected to the world,” Gardner said.

The Access Broadband Act would require the Department of Commerce to establish the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. That office would do the following:

■ Connect with communities that need access to high-speed internet and improved digital inclusion efforts.

■ Hold regional workshops to share best practices and effective strategies for promoting broadband access and adoption.

■ Develop targeted broadband training and presentations for demographic communities through media.

■ Develop and distribute publications providing guidance to communities for expanding broadband access and adoption.

■ Track construction and use of any broadband infrastructure built using federal support.

The office would annually report on the description of work performed, the number of residents who received broadband as result of federal broadband programs and an estimate of the economic impact of such broadband deployment efforts on the local economy.

The newly created office would also consult with any agency offering a federal broadband support program in order to streamline the application process and create one application that may be submitted to apply for all federal broadband support programs.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
THE LATEST
Nevada corrections workers file for union recognition

Nevada corrections workers filed to be recognized as a union affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the first group of state workers to take advantage of a new law that allows for collective bargaining.