Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX-25) today sent a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy requesting the inclusion of funding for rural broadband deployment to underserved communities in the next COVID-19 relief package.
“Every county in the 25th District of Texas faces challenges due to the lack of connectivity and broadband access. It is vitally important during the COVID-19 pandemic that we include relief funding so these areas are able to receive accurate and timely information providing clear communication and potentially saving lives,” said Congressman Williams.
“This unprecedented health crisis has also underscored the crucial role high-speed internet plays in our communities as citizens depend on it for quality health care, remote work capabilities and continuing education during a forced government shutdown. I’m proud of the work we have accomplished over the last few months, but we must continue closing the digital divide so rural counties, like those in my district, are given the same access and opportunities as their urban counterparts.”
The letter reads: “Not only does the lack of quality internet limit a household’s ability to access information but makes it harder for the businesses to adapt to the times by only offering limited in-person services.
“Additional funds to these rural communities will ensure we are able to get the most up-to-date information on the pandemic to the public, and that businesses are aware of the most recent state and federal guidelines to reopen safely.”
Click here to view the letter.
In the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congressman Williams secured $100 million for the Reconnect Pilot Program that awards grants to cover the costs of construction and improvement of broadband service in eligible rural areas. The CARES Act also allocated $25 million for distance learning and telemedicine. These funds are specifically intended to secure rural access to telecommunication equipment for students, teachers, medical professionals and patients.