On Feb. 3, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced a bill that would create a committee to develop policies and recommendations that promote deployment of broadband access in rural areas across West Virginia.
“Delivering affordable, reliable broadband access is both a critical and necessary step towards closing the broadband gap in rural and remote areas of the nation, like much of West Virginia,” Manchin said. “The job of serving the Mountain State is far from done. All too often, broadband policies have failed states like West Virginia because voices from rural America have not been at the table. The Rural Telecommunications and Broadband Service Act would bring these voices to the table to ensure that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress live up to the promise of universal service and help define what that means in today’s 21st century economy.”
“Running a business should not force you to choose between your hometown and a fast and reliable broadband connection. At home, at work, in school, or on the go, West Virginians in every corner of our state should have access to broadband service. Universal service should be much more than a talking point, and I am proud to continue to lead this effort in Washington.”
On Feb. 2, Manchin and Roger Wicker (R-MS) lead a bipartisan letter urging the FCC to move forward with the second phase of the Mobility Fund, which will provide mobile broadband service to rural and underserved areas. Manchin and Wicker were joined by 28 Senators calling on the FCC to prioritize new mobile broadband deployment in these areas.