Trump Promises Trillion-Dollar Infrastructure Plan Will Have Funds For...

Policy & Government

Trump Promises Trillion-Dollar Infrastructure Plan Will Have Funds For Rural Broadband

Jun 22, 2017

In what seemed like a flashback to the 2016 election campaign, President Donald Trump held a rally last night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where crowds wearing “Make America Great Again” hats filled the room.

During the speech, Trump spoke on a number of topics including pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, his lack of support from Democrats and the opening of new coal factories in Pennsylvania. He also made a few new promises to the crowd, most notably large new investments in infrastructure for rural America.

“Central to our economics agenda is a plan to restore our crumbling infrastructure,” said Trump. “We will rebuild not only America, but we will rebuild rural America.”

Earlier in the day, he made a similar pledge during a visit to Kirkwood Community College, where he promised to add provisions to the trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal that would help bring broadband to rural communities.

Groups that have been advocating for broadband access in schools voiced support for the pledge, noting that more than 3,700 K-12 schools, 79 percent of them in rural and small towns, lack access to the fiber networks they need to take advantage of broadband-enabled digital learning opportunities. Evan Marwell, founder and CEO of EducationSuperHighway, also emphasized the need to continue and expand the E-rate program that provides internet support to schools and libraries—which is managed by the Federal Communications Commission.

"We can learn from the Cedar Rapids schools in the community where the President outlined his ambitious goal,” said Marwell in a statement to EdSurge. “These schools were recently able to significantly and affordably increase the bandwidth on their fiber connections as a result of the Federal Communications Commission's successful E-rate modernization order. We can't leave our kids behind in the effort to upgrade our broadband infrastructure, in Iowa or anywhere.”


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