WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science and a member of Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – today pledged to continue oversight of federal broadband deployment programs in response to the Department of Commerce’s announcement to provide $451 million to Kansas for broadband development:
“In this digital age, access to reliable internet can determine the success of farms, businesses and even health care in rural communities. Every taxpayer dollar should be used efficiently and in a way that best serves Americans, which is why I have been working with the Federal Communications Commission to update broadband maps before this funding was allocated. The accuracy of these maps will make certain funding reaches places in need of broadband access and does not overbuild areas that already have internet access. I will continue to use my Appropriations Subcommittee and Commerce Committee roles to conduct oversight of federal broadband deployment programs.”
After receiving input from Kansans, the FCC released updated maps in May that listed 81,687 unserved locations, which is a 25,856 increase over the maps released in November 2022.
Timeline of Sen. Moran’s work on broadband development:
- May 2019: Introduced bipartisan legislation to help improve the accuracy of broadband coverage maps.
- June 2019: Co-sponsored the Broadband DATA Act to authorize new FCC maps.
- December 2020: Urged full funding for the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act and the Broadband DATA Act, as Congress completed the appropriations process for FY2021.
- February 2022: Secured a commitment from Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo that “every person in Kansas will have access to high-quality, affordable broadband.”
- September 2022: Introduced legislation to prevent taxation of broadband grants.
- April 2023: Hosted Secretary Raimondo in Kansas for a broadband roundtable with local officials.
- May 2023: Introduced legislation to strengthen the broadband supply chain to ensure timely rollout of federal broadband programs.
- May 2023: Questioned witnesses during a Commerce Committee hearing on broadband funding and deployment.
- June 2023: Spoke on the Senate floor regarding the importance of rural broadband access.