Washington, DC - On March 23, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) joined his colleagues in voting to pass the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Included in the funding bill were a few major initiatives led by Congressman Kinzinger in regards to broadband and telecommunications.
Two bills led by Congressman Kinzinger, H.R. 1814, the Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act and H.R. 3995, the Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act, were included in the Omnibus bill. These bipartisan bills advocate for expanding the reach of broadband service, where H.R.1814 would expand wireless coverage in rural communities, and H.R. 3995 would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to produce a report that examines the current state of veterans' access to broadband and to see what can be done to increase their access overall.
Another broadband initiative included in the Omnibus bill can be found in the $625 million in additional resources for building out rural broadband in IL-16 communities and across the country.
As a Co-Chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus, Congressman Kinzinger was proud to see these measures included in the FY18 package, and as such, released thefollowing statement:
"In the 21st Century, broadband access is critical in connecting with loved ones as well as accessing information on jobs, benefits, education, health services, and more. Our rural communities have significantly lower rates of broadband availability and it's important that we close that service gap.
"After months of hard work by our House Energy and Commerce Committee, we have produced and enacted legislation to better utilize broadband spectrum, increase competitiveness, and expand broadband access in rural areas. I'm proud that my provisions and others I supported were included in the FY 2018 Omnibus, to help folks in my district and across the country. While our broadband and telecommunications work continues, we are taking big steps toward ensuring rural Americans and veterans have the tools they need to flourish.
NOTE: To learn more about the FY 2018 Omnibus bill, visit the House Appropriations Committee website here.