March 11, 2021

Manchin, Collins Reintroduce Bill To Provide Broadband And Hotspots To Rural Americans

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME), reintroduced the bipartisan Hotspots and Online Technology and Services Procurement for our Tribes and States (HOTSPOTS) Act which would create a 2-year, $200 million hotspot pilot program with a minimum allotment of $2 million per State to allow States, Tribes, and Territories to purchase and distribute Internet-connected devices to libraries in low-income and rural areas.

“Every American and West Virginian has adjusted to a new way of learning, working, and living due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For most Americans, this new lifestyle relies on affordable, reliable broadband access that many rural Americans simply don’t have,” said Senator Manchin. “I am proud to introduce the bipartisan HOTSPOTS Act to help address the challenges our low-income and rural West Virginians and Americans are facing during the pandemic by helping libraries across rural America quickly provide broadband hotspots to their communities.”

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have had to move their studies, health care services, and workplaces online. This transition has been particularly difficult for those who do not have access to a reliable Internet connection at home,” said Senator Collins.  “Our bipartisan bill would establish a hotspot pilot program that would provide Internet-connected devices for libraries to distribute, helping to close the digital divide for rural and low-income residents in Maine and throughout the country.”

Senators Manchin and Collins are joined by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Angus King (I-ME), John Boozman (R-AR), Mark Warner (D-VA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and John Cornyn (R-TX).

Background information on the HOTSPOTS Act can be found here.

Bill text can be found here.