Rep. Axne Appointed to Rural Broadband Task Force
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) was appointed to sit on the newly launched House Rural Broadband Task Force to provide coordination and leadership to end the rural-digital divide. The Task Force will work to advance solutions to ensure all Americans have access to high-speed internet by 2025. In addition to Rep. Axne, Reps. Loebsack (IA-02) and Finkenauer (IA-01) are also representing Iowa on the Task Force.
The announcement coincides with the 7th annual Infrastructure Week and comes on the heels of a bipartisan agreement with the President to develop a $2 trillion infrastructure bill. “Any infrastructure package must include funding for accessible and affordable high-speed internet access in rural communities,” said Rep. Axne.
“It’s unacceptable that in 2019, many of our rural communities have limited or no access to internet, which is critical to success in our 21st century digital economy,” Rep. Axne added. “I’m proud to join this Task Force to advance bipartisan, practical solutions to expand access to affordable internet to every corner of Iowa.”
More than $60 billion in public resources has been invested to bring broadband to rural America; however, the FCC reports 25 million rural Americans are still without high-speed internet access. High-speed internet is a modern-day necessity and every American should have the ability to access affordable high-speed internet.
The Task Force will consult with key stakeholders, including rural advocates, market participants, local governments, and Administration officials to develop strategies to eliminate digital deserts and ensure rural Americans can thrive in the 21st century information economy. Top priorities include:
- highlighting success stories and innovative approaches;
- ensuring that federal funding for rural broadband is spent effectively;
- identifying necessary steps to position the United States to lead the world in universal broadband deployment; and
- passing legislation to advance a transformative agenda on rural broadband that accomplishes the goal of affordable universal access by 2025.
In addition to Rep. Axne, the task force will include the following House members: Majority Whip James Clyburn, Rep. Peter Welch (VT-at large), Rep. Dave Loebsack (IA-2), Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-2), Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-2), Rep. G.K. Butterfield (NC-1), Rep. T.J. Cox (CA-21), Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-1), Rep. Jared Golden (ME-2), Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Rep. Ron Kind (WI-3), Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-2), Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-1), Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-7), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-7) and Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small (NM-2).