U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to encourage investment in high-speed internet and protect and expand access to broadband in our rural communities. The legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
The Access to Capital Creates Economic Strength and Supports (ACCESS) Rural America Act would provide regulatory relief to rural telecommunications service providers by allowing them to submit streamlined financial reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These small companies—many of which are the sole service providers in their region—could be put out of business by looming regulatory costs. Specifically, this bipartisan legislation would increase the number of investors that triggers SEC public reporting requirements for rural telecommunications companies. This will save these small companies from costly SEC reporting requirements that were never intended for them.
“Reliable high-speed broadband is critical to strengthening small businesses and communities throughout rural Wisconsin. Unfortunately, rural telecom companies are getting hit with disclosure costs that were never intended for them, creating new challenges to delivering broadband access throughout Wisconsin,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our bipartisan legislation provides the regulatory relief that rural service providers need to build-out high-speed broadband in small communities and continue our efforts to bring broadband access for all – no matter where you live in Wisconsin.”