Senate, House Send Broadband Money to Different Agencies

[imgbelt img=rural+broadband.jpg]The Senate sends its broadband stimulus money to the Department of Commerce. The House ships the same funding to Agriculture.

30 The broadband provisions in the Senate bill begin on page 37. In the House bill, go to page 42.)

Some Senators prefer the House’s decision to the allow USDA to administer the rural portion of the broadband kitty. Since the House and Senate bills still must be reconciled, there is no way to know how the differences between the two will settle out.

The Senate version of the bill also requires the Commerce Department to develop a “comprehensive nationwide inventory map of existing broadband service capability and availability in the United States.”

There is currently no reliable way to know how many U.S. residents are without access to broadband connections.