Press Releases

Kinzinger & McNerney Fight for Veterans with Broadband Bill

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Washington, October 10, 2017 | Maura Gillespie ((202) 225-3635) | comments
Today, Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) continued their fight for our nation’s heroes by re-introducing H.R. 3995, the Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2017. 
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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) continued their fight for our nation’s heroes by re-introducing H.R. 3995, the Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2017. 

This bipartisan bill directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to produce a report examining the current state of veterans’ access to broadband and what can be done to increase access, with a focus on low-income veterans and those living in rural areas. The report must be completed within one year of the bill’s enactment and include findings and recommendations for Congress.

After introducing this bill into the House, the Congressmen issued the following statements:

“Our veterans face many challenges when they return home, and closing the digital divide and getting connected is one way we can help alleviate part of their transition back to civilian life.  I’m proud to co-lead the Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act, especially for those in rural areas or those unable to afford it. Broadband access will help our veterans connect with family and friends, apply for jobs, access information on benefits and health services, and so much more. I am grateful to have worked with Congressman McNerney on this important legislation.” – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)

“California is home to more veterans than any other state and is the center for technological innovation. Broadband access will make a big difference for the more than 20 million veterans throughout our nation. Connectivity means increased job and educational opportunities and better access to VA resources, and the findings and recommendations required by this bill will set us on that path. I want to thank Congressman Kinzinger for his work on this bill and I look forward to other members joining this important effort.” – Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09)

Low-income veterans and veterans residing in rural areas are at a higher likelihood of not having broadband internet service. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Pew Research Center both report that broadband adoption rates are significantly lower among Americans who live at or below the federal poverty level. Analysis by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce further finds that broadband adoption rates in rural areas of the country are lower than in urban areas.  

NOTE: A similar bill (S. 1950) has been introduced in the Senate.

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