ReConnecting Rural America Act

Did you know that Iowa ranks 45th for broadband access in the U.S. with the 2nd slowest speeds on average and approximately one third of the state is in a rural broadband dessert? 

That’s why I introduced the bipartisan ReConnecting Rural America Act to improve access to high quality, affordable broadband in rural communities. 

This bill strengthens the USDA ReConnect Program, which offers loans, grants, and loan-grant combinations facilitating broadband deployment in areas of rural America that currently do not have sufficient access to broadband, by: 

  • Making the ReConnect Program permanent 

  • Authorizing the USDA to make loans, grants, and grant-loan combinations for the construction and improvement of equipment and facilities to provide broadband 

  • Establishing requirements for faster, more reliable internet at a 100/100 Mbps symmetrical buildout speed. 

  • Prioritizing communities with the greatest need for increased speeds by defining unserved communities as at least 75 percent of households unserved at 100/20 mbps speed and prioritizing awards to areas in which at least 90 percent of households lack 100/20 mbps speed. 

  • Ensuring the program can keep up with the increase in demand by including sufficient funding authorization levels. 

Access to high quality, affordable internet is critical for telehealth services, education, precision agriculture, and quality of life in rural America. This bipartisan bill will ensure faster, more reliable speeds for rural communities with the most critical needs. 

Read the bill text here: 

FORM: https://nunn.house.gov/SL/reconnecting-rural-america-act