August 21, 2018

Wyden Introduces Broadband Bill to Help Small Ports

Legislation would improve small Oregon ports’ opportunities to receive federal resources for internet improvements

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today introduced a bill to help small ports in Oregon and nationwide get federal loans that would improve their broadband coverage, helping them to grow economically and ensuring they have real-time access to weather updates.

Wyden’s bill would add small ports to the priority list for applications to the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utility Service broadband access loan program, which funds construction and improvement of internet infrastructure for eligible rural areas.  

“Reliable broadband in Oregon’s small ports is a must for our state’s commercial fishing industry to order inventory and coordinate deliveries as well as to get satellite photos and weather maps they need to operate safely,” Wyden said. “And dependable broadband is just as essential for the Oregonians employed at small ports and for the tourists who visit the ports’ coastal and inland communities.”

This bill is part of Wyden’s work to improve rural broadband services in Oregon and nationwide. He has pressed the Federal Communications Commission to improve its cellular data maps for rural communities and advocated successfully for increased rural tele-health services funding.

Full text of Wyden’s latest bill is available here.

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