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As Congress Deliberates Infrastructure Development, Wyden Urges More Rural Broadband

Brian Bull

As Congress works on the Biden Administration’s infrastructure plan, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden is urging particular focus on rural broadband. 

The Oregon Democrat has called on the FCC to prioritize development of the utility noting broadband’s importance in providing telehealth and other services to remote, non-urban areas.

“There are dead zones all over this state," Wyden told KLCC.  "I just had ten town hall meetings across Oregon, many of them in more rural areas. And we were constantly bumping up at the prospect that we couldn’t get a connection. 

"I’m particularly concerned about rural areas and seniors and other folks who are falling between the gaps.” 

Wyden is also among several senators supporting the Extending Tribal Broadband Priority Act of 2021. It’d give Native American tribes more time to apply for available spectrum licenses on their lands.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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