Sending Office: Moulton, Seth
Request for Cosponsor(s)
Quality broadband has been a catalyst for civil, social, and economic growth in communities and sectors across America. Unfortunately, small businesses, especially those in rural communities, often lack access to quality broadband and the benefits it offers.
Ten percent of Americans, and thirty-nine percent of those in rural areas, lack access to high-speed broadband according to the FCC’s 2016 Broadband Progress Report.
Small businesses make up 99.9 percent of U.S. employer firms and nearly half of the entire American workforce. If small businesses can grow their customer base and create
more efficient business practices with better broadband, they will also be able to grow job opportunities in their communities. This is especially important in rural areas, where the employment
rate still has not returned to its pre-recession level.
That is why we are introducing the Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Act, which modernizes the SBA’s approach to broadband issues by connecting businesses with financing programs and advising on how small business and
startups acquire broadband. This bill addresses the bipartisan push for nationwide broadband in a way that specifically targets small businesses’ needs.
Specifically, the Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Act:
- Provides for training at the SBA to assist small businesses on how to maximize investment and external reach through broadband, while advising businesses lacking access on locating Wi-Fi access points and financing for broadband purchase. These resources
would be disseminated to SBA district offices, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and other entrepreneurship resource partners.
- Appoints an existing SBA senior staff member to coordinate training and programs relating to broadband and other new technologies. This coordinator position would also serve as the SBA liaison to the Broadband Opportunity Council, which was created to increase
broadband investment and address existing barriers to deployment, affordability, and adoption.
- Requires the SBA to regularly report to the House and Senate Small Business Committees on the coordinator’s activities related to broadband and emerging technologies.
- Requires the SBA Office of Advocacy to collect data for a report on small business usage and ability to adopt broadband technology, in light of pricing and availability concerns.
With improved broadband, small businesses can better engage with the time, cost, and resource-saving opportunities available online, and connect with new customers and the global stream of commerce.
For more information or to cosponsor the Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Act, please contact Heather Painter (Heather.Painter@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Moulton’s Office and Elizabeth Parks (Elizabeth.Parks@mail.house.gov) in Rep.
Member of Congress
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