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RELEASE: REP. KHANNA INTRODUCES BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO STUDY EFFECTS OF BROADBAND ON THE ECONOMY

July 10, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) introduced a bipartisan bill, the Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act, to require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to conduct a study of the effects of broadband deployment and adoption on the U.S. economy. The legislation empowers policymakers to make more informed decisions about broadband, connecting underserved communities and keeping America competitive in a digital world.

The Senate companion bill is led by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), co-chairs of the Senate Broadband Caucus.

The internet is an integral component of our country’s economy and infrastructure. Expanding access to quality broadband internet is a potential driver for development and progress. However, despite its importance, the Federal government does not currently measure the impact of broadband on the U.S. economy, as it does for many other industries. The lack of current, reliable, and accurate data diminishes the decision-making ability of policymakers, business leaders, research institutions, and trade groups. This bill highlights this issue and would make such data available.

“Widespread access to strong broadband internet will help bridge the divide for rural Americans to participate in the gains of the digital economy,” said Rep. Khanna. “The federal government has an obligation to study the economics of broadband, produce reliable data, and ensure communities can make informed decisions for their local economies.”

“In our increasingly connected economy, access to reliable broadband internet is more than just a convenience,” said. Rep. Fitzpatrick. “It’s a necessity crucial to driving innovation and supporting job growth. Expanding access to broadband would be a powerful force for enabling economic equality and opportunity for many rural parts of our country that lack connection to the internet. The Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act would ensure that the Bureau of Economic Analysis collects current and reliable data on broadband deployment across the nation, allowing policymakers, business leaders, and research institutions to keep America competitive in a digital world.”

“In the 21st century economy, broadband is a critical force for creating jobs, leveling the playing field, and increasing opportunity,” said Senator Klobuchar. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that we have more reliable, publicly available economic data in order to make informed decisions about expanding broadband, connecting our communities, and keeping us competitive in an increasingly digital world.”

“Improving connectivity in West Virginia and other states can create so much opportunity—especially when it comes to creating jobs and fueling economic growth,” said Senator Capito. “This legislation is an important step toward bridging the digital divide because it will provide data to help us make decisions regarding broadband investment and accessibility. I was proud introduce this legislation in the Senate that will provide us with another valuable tool to better connect our communities, and I’m glad to see this companion legislation introduced in the House.”

This legislation is supported by Connected Nation, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, CTIA, WIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, ITTA – The Voice of America’s Broadband Providers and CCIA.

 

About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.

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