Rural Broadband Access

Advocate Now

Help educate your Members of Congress on the need to increase broadband access across the country. Approximately 20 million Americans living in rural areas lack high-speed internet (or “broadband”) access. Many children and adults living in rural communities impacted by COVID-19 do not have adequate broadband connections to access educational materials online, participate in remote learning, or take advantage of telemedicine opportunities that might be needed if they or their families get sick. We need to do better for rural Americans.

Rural Broadband Overview

Approximately twenty million Americans lack high-speed internet (or “broadband”) access, two-thirds of whom live in rural areas. Inadequate access to high-speed internet disadvantages those living in remote areas in many critical ways. For example, it not only makes it hard for lawyers in rural areas to practice law, but it also discourages lawyers and other professionals from working in rural areas. With schools closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the critical need for broadband access has been brought into stark focus. Many children and adults living in rural communities impacted by COVID-19 do not have adequate broadband connections to access educational materials online, participate in remote learning, or take advantage of telemedicine opportunities that might be needed if they or their families get sick.

ABA Resources

ABA policy adopted August 2019 in support of enacting legislation and appropriating adequate funding “to ensure equal access to justice for Americans living in rural communities by deploying, to at least 98% of the population, broadband infrastructure with a download speed of at least 100 megabits per second, and an upload speed of at least 30 megabits per second.” See accompanying report for thorough explanation.

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Congressional Resources

Several committees handle broadband issues. In addition, the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Financial Services and General Government have jurisdiction over appropriations for the Federal Communications Commission, the primary agency within the Executive Branch dealing with Broadband access.

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Contact Us

Contact Denise Cardman, our lobbyist in charge of this issue, with any questions