Monday, July 15, 2024

Senate passes Kennedy-supported bill to enhance rural broadband access

by BIZ Magazine

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today applauded the Senate’s passage of the bipartisan Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Enhancement Act, which he cosponsored.

The legislation addresses the lack of broadband internet and other emerging information technology resources in rural areas by improving Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.

“Small businesses represent 97% of Louisiana employers, and they need broadband to create and sustain more jobs. It’s time for the House to pass this bill and expand broadband access for Louisiana job creators,” said Kennedy.

The Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Enhancement Act would:

  • Direct the SBA Office of Investment and Innovation to designate a senior employee to serve as the broadband and emerging information technology (BEIT) coordinator.
  • Provide SBA employees with BEIT training to help small businesses use such technologies.
  • Report on the SBA’s work related to broadband and other emerging information technologies.
  • Require the SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy to evaluate the impact of broadband speed and price on small businesses.
  • Authorize small business development centers to help businesses access and use BEIT.

The bill text is available here

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