News Department

Steinhardt bills support expansion of rural broadband internet services

NEW JERSEY – Senator Doug Steinhardt is sponsoring legislation that would help support the expansion of broadband internet services in underserved rural communities.

“Rural communities are often an afterthought for the big telecom companies, leaving homeowners and businesses with few options for broadband service and slower speeds,” said Steinhardt (R-23). “When so much of modern life is dependent on high-speed internet, we need to be proactive in ensuring that our communities have access to these critical services. The new grant and loan programs that I’m sponsoring will support the expansion of rural broadband services in small communities that are often overlooked.”

Steinhardt has introduced legislation, S-3730, that establishes the “Rural Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program” within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) for the purpose of providing grants to qualified applicants for the expansion and improvement of broadband telecommunications infrastructure and the provision of broadband telecommunications service in rural areas of the state.

The bill creates the “Rural Broadband Infrastructure Grant Fund” to support the program and appropriates $2.5 million in federal funds to the fund.

Steinhardt also joined as co-sponsor of legislation, S-582, that expands the EDA small business loan program to include certain broadband telecommunications service providers.

This bill requires the EDA, in consultation with the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), to offer loans to broadband telecommunications service providers providing broadband telecommunications service to rural areas under an existing small business loan program administered by the EDA.

“Many of the same communities that benefitted from rural electrification efforts a century ago will benefit from our focus on expanding rural broadband today,” Steinhardt said. “For many people, access to broadband will open up a world of educational and work opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button