NH’s congressional delegation seeks more federal money, flexibility for broadband
By Jeff Feingold
August 6, 2020
Members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation are calling on their leadership to boost both broadband funding and the flexibility to spend it as the nation continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the federal CARES Act, states were provided with funding to help build out broadband infrastructure, with a deadline for using those funds set for Dec. 30.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, New Hampshire’s U.S. senators, Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, along with U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, called for an extension of that deadline, citing the need for states to continue building out additional broadband infrastructure to support telehealth, remote learning and working from home.
“As the pandemic has evolved, and it becomes clear that the effects of Covid-19 will remain with us for some time, we must provide our state and local governments with not only additional time to effectively deploy emergency relief funds but also greater overall funding to respond to the emerging needs within our communities as this crisis persists,” they wrote.
But they also said that because of that prolonged time frame, it’s essential to provide “substantial new funding” for “critical infrastructure projects,” like broadband construction.