Reps. Long and Kustoff Introduce Internet Exchange Act
Washington, March 17, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Billy Long (MO-7) and Congressman David Kustoff (TN-8) released the following statement after H.R. 7112, the Internet Exchange (IX) Act, was introduced in the House. The bill aims to strengthen Internet access in rural and other underserved areas by promoting more Internet Exchanges across the country.
“We need to build up and expand rural broadband infrastructure,” said Rep. Long. “Too often, I hear stories of students, entrepreneurs, and families in rural areas that are unable to take advantage of economic, health and educational opportunities because they lack broadband access to the internet. This issue is of incredible importance to Missouri’s 7th Congressional District, which is why I continue to work on increasing broadband access. ”
“Reliable, accessible, and affordable internet is vital to support education, business development, and economic opportunity. Unfortunately, many of our rural communities in West Tennessee are still without vital broadband infrastructure,” said Rep. Kustoff. “It is a top priority of mine to ensure that all communities throughout West Tennessee receive adequate support and resources to expand access to broadband services. The Internet Exchange Act will increase the number of Internet Exchanges across the country, bringing rural West Tennessee into the 21st century. I appreciate my colleague Congressman Billy Long for working with me to support rural America.”
IXs are one of the building blocks around which the Internet is built. They are the physical locations where networks come together, and where content providers place content closer to end users to increase the speed and efficiency of networks. Currently, there are dozens of IXs nationwide but most of them are concentrated in big cities and in the coastal states.
The IX Act would authorize the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to administer a grant program that will establish or expand IX facilities and allow eligible E-rate (schools and libraries) and Telehealth program recipients to use available support to fund connections to and maintenance of points of presence at IX facilities.
Increasing the number of IXs across the country will result in a more resilient, competitive, and interconnected web (especially for households in more rural areas).