Skip to main content

House Republicans Unveil the American Broadband Act to Close the Digital Divide


05.20.21

Washington, D.C. — Today, House Republicans unveiled the American Broadband Act to help close the digital divide by ensuring broadband infrastructure reaches all Americans and is not used to fund duplicative and wasteful overbuilding. Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee are leading the way in the American Broadband Act to close the digital divide, target rural and unserved areas, remove barriers to deployment, streamline permitting processes, and unleash private investment. This comprehensive package includes legislation from their Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda and additional resources to close the digital divide.

“Millions of Americans across the country lack access to reliable broadband. This has been especially devastating for countless families during the pandemic. Many children have lost an entire school year and counting with no access to remote learning tools. For some parents, unreliable connection at home meant forgoing work to spend hours driving around looking for internet they and their children could connect to. Closing the digital divide will unleash economic opportunities for everyone–from small business owners, entrepreneurs, and working moms. That is why, today, House Republicans unveiled the American Broadband Act to expand broadband access. By relying on a light-touch regulatory environment and targeted investments—rather than cumbersome government-run networks—we will ensure reliable, affordable access for the communities who need it most.” — Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH)

The American Broadband Act will:

  • Close the digital divide through investments that target rural and unserved areas based on accurate maps;
  • Authorize $20 billion over five years to promote broadband infrastructure deployment and $3 billion to promote rural wireless infrastructure deployment;
  • Remove barriers to investment and deployment for distressed communities and encourage public-private broadband partnerships;
  • Streamline permitting processes by incentivizing state and local governments to cut red tape, placing reasonable limits on permitting, and promoting infrastructure deployment on federal lands;
  • Unleash private investment to win the future.

CLICK HERE to read the American Broadband Act.

CLICK HERE for a section by section summary of the American Broadband Act.

CLICK HERE to see why experts say President Biden’s big-government broadband infrastructure plans won’t close the digital divide.

CLICK HERE to learn more about how the American Broadband Act will close the digital divide in rural America.

Press Release