Every few years, the Farm Bill, legislation authorizing rural development programs (among others) is debated and renewed. The politics of the Farm Bill are even more obvious when reauthorization is in a presidential election year and this year is no different. I’m impressed with the continued success of the RUS program (up until FCC reform!) and how it continues to actually be a revenue generating program for the federal government. The broadband program, authorized three years ago, continues to be challenged with only one loan approved to date and a number of frustrated applicants out there. That is why it was particularly frustrating to see the efforts from Senator Warner’s staff with their proposed amendment that adds additional hoops and paperwork, puts former RUS borrowers at the lower end of the priority list, provides for minimal speeds and penetration percentages and seems to have a complete lack of recognition for who is already building out broadband in rural Virginia…the independent telcos.
Jun 17 2012
Farm Bill Efforts Continue
Permanent link to this article: http://www.ntca.org/ceoblog/farm-bill-efforts-continue/