WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) urged President Biden to include rural broadband in the infrastructure proposal he plans to present to Congress. In a bipartisan letter, Joyce and 71 other Members of Congress highlighted the critical role broadband plays in providing businesses expanded economic opportunity, supplying students and teachers access to educational materials, facilitating agricultural efficiency for farmers, and allowing doctors’ visits to take place at home.
“As you develop your infrastructure proposal to present to Congress, we write to urge you to include investments that will bring the benefits of broadband connectivity to unserved rural America and tribal areas,” the lawmakers wrote. “In the 21st Century, high-speed broadband is no longer a luxury amenity, but rather an essential service for homes and businesses in this interconnected world…We look forward to working with you and your administration to advance an infrastructure package that bridges the digital divide across our country by ensuring broadband is deployed quickly and aggressively.”
You can read the letter to President Biden here.
With more than 300,000 Buckeye households lacking access to high-speed internet, addressing the lack of broadband connectivity is one of Joyce’s top priorities. In December, Joyce voted for the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which included $732 million for rural broadband, the highest level in history, including $635 million for the ReConnect broadband pilot for unserved and underserved areas as well as $60 million for Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants. The legislation also provided $3.9 billion for rural development programs, as well as more than $38.1 billion in loans for rural housing, rural utilities, and rural businesses, which assist with building sustainable rural infrastructure for the modern economy and help create an environment for economic growth and opportunity.
Additionally, last October, Joyce joined Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) for a discussion hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center on the need to expand broadband services. You can learn more about that discussion here.