Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Why You Suffer When Access to Broadband Is Limited

May 9, 2019
In The News

WASHINGTON, D.C.--You probably have a smart phone that's connected to the internet. You probably check your e-mail and conduct other business on that phone or device. But, some people in Indiana don't have access to broadband internet, and that could keep them behind.

The ACCESS BROADBAND Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), passed the U.S. House by unanimous voice vote. 

"Every time I'm home, Hoosiers, particularly from rural areas, tell me they are afraid to be left behind in the 21st century economy because we continue to be more and more reliant upon technology," said Brooks. "They cannot wait and hope for new technology to fix their connectivity problems that have existed for years."

The bill Stands for Advancing Critical Connectivity Expands Service, Small Businesses Resources, Opportunities, Access, and Data Based on Assessed Need and Demand. 

It would establish an Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). 

The bill would also direct that office to simplify access for small businesses and local communities, possibly including small business workshops and other support resources and would streamlines the process for small businesses and local governments to apply for federal broadband assistance.

Brooks said she spoke with students this week from Noblesville East and West middle schools.

"All of those kids have to have access to broadband. They rely on it to do their homework. They rely on it to communicate with their teachers and to get instruction."

Brooks said small businesses are at a disadvantage without broadband. 

"Their communities suffer. They miss opportunities to create new jobs, drive innovation and increase our country's global competitiveness."

The Senate is considering a companion bill. It would have to pass both chambers and be signed by the president to become law.