Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) has introduced a bill that would require the Federal Communications Commission to tithe from its auction revenues in order to subsidize rural broadband projects in unserved areas. The Rural Connectivity Advancement Program Act of 2020 would require 10% of net proceeds from competitive bidding auctions through Sept. 30, 2022 be placed in a "Rural Broadband Assessment and Deployment Fund" in the Treasury. "Today more than ever, broadband connectivity is a necessity not a luxury," said FBA president Lisa Youngers. "The Fiber Broadband Association and its members support the Rural Connectivity Advancement Program and appreciate this effort to bring unconnected rural communities into the 21st century with high-speed access. By establishing a permanent funding source for rural broadband that will supplement current resources and utilize existing programs, this bill has the potential to deliver rapid results for rural Americans in more communities across our country. We are thankful to Senator Thune for his forward-looking leadership and remain committed to working with Congress to bridge the digital divide and connect all Americans, both rural and urban, with high-speed fiber broadband.”
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