Owens co-sponsors legislation to strengthen rural broadband

Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) co-sponsored the Broadband Permitting Modernization Act, a package of four bills introduced by Rep. John Curtis (UT-03) designed to strengthen rural broadband infrastructure in Utah and across the country.

“An estimated 19 million rural Americans lack access to high-speed internet services,” said Rep. Owens. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning, and remote work, Utahns in my district need consistent and reliable connections. I am proud to support the Broadband Permitting Modernization Act because it brings rural broadband into the 21st Century and deploys connectivity to rural Americans at a quicker rate.”

Background on the Broadband Permitting Modernization Act:

  • Ninety-seven percent of Americans who live in urban population areas have access to high-speed internet and broadband services, but in the nation’s rural areas, access to reliable high-speed broadband is often scarce.
  • An estimated 19 million rural Americans still lack high-speed internet services. Like electricity to power our lights and appliances, broadband has become an essential utility that supports greater economic growth for connected communities, access to better health care and a broad array of educational opportunities for school children and adults alike. 
  • Establishing broadband requires infrastructure, and our nation’s public lands are uniquely suited to help connect rural America to today’s information-driven, global economy. 
  • The Broadband Permitting Modernization Act is a package of commonsense, cost-effective legislative proposals advanced by House Republicans to modernize broadband permitting on federal lands.

The full text of H.R. 3370 is available here.