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Congress pushes broadband access ahead of Trump infrastructure proposal

Congress is making a push to get rural internet access projects funded through President Trump’s promised $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan.

Lawmakers representing rural areas have argued that many of their constituents are losing out on economic and educational resources due to a lack of broadband access. And as the president teases an infrastructure plan, members are stepping up their calls for increased funding.

“Rural communities must have adequate broadband infrastructure to attract and retain businesses and human resources, close the homework gap for students and teachers, open innovative and convenient pathways to telemedicine for seniors and providers, and help farmers increase efficiencies in their barns and on their land,” the House members wrote in a letter.

Details are still light. A leaked draft outline of the infrastructure plan showed that broadband access projects were included as part of the 25 percent of dollars set aside for rural infrastructure spending.

Lawmakers are still looking for assurances that internet access will receive direct funding from the White House plan.

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