KEYC - Senator Smith Introduces Broadband Bill

Senator Smith Introduces Broadband Bill

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SAINT PAUL, Minn. -

Senator Tina Smith introduced a new bill Thursday to help communities gain access to high speed internet.

The Community Connect Grant Program Act of 2018 would provide grants to build, acquire, or lease facilities, including spectrum, land, or buildings to deploy broadband service.

It would also modernize minimum speed service to coordinate with the Federal Communications Commission and keep pace with 21st Century needs.

It's estimated that 24 million Americans don't have access to high–speed internet, including thousands in Minnesota.

Smith said "The internet, affordable high speed broadband service is not just nice for Minnesotans or our country, it's absolutely necessary. Whether you are a student or whether you are a small business person or maybe you're a person who is trying to get healthcare. In Minnesota, we think there are about 250,000 households that aren't connected at all."

Smith hopes to make the broadband bill a key part of the proposed farm bill, which is expected to be completed this year.

- KEYC 12