Bill Seeks Better Broadband Access For Small Businesses

Bill Seeks Better Broadband Access For Small Businesses

By Mike Sachoff – Tue, 06/22/2010 – 5:07pm.

Broadband bill aimed at helping small businesses

United States Senators Mary Landrieu, (D-La), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and John Kerry (D-Mass), have introduced legislation to help small business owners access broadband.

The “Small Business Broadband and Emerging Technology Enhancement Act of 2010,” addresses some of the recommendations from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) March report, which calls for increased broadband access for rural small businesses.

“Improving access to technology for small businesses, particularly in rural areas, is an important component to economic recovery,” Senator Landrieu said. “With access to broadband Internet, a small firm that once was confined to a single town has the ability to reach a new customer base on the opposite side of the world. Louisiana is home to some of the most rural, underserved areas in the country.”

“By assisting rural firms in upgrading their technology, I am committed to making these small businesses play an active role in jumpstarting local economies. The FCC has done an extensive evaluation of the effects of advanced technology on small business growth. The adoption of many of the recommendations of this report will support small businesses interested in expanding their operations. The Small Business Committee is dedicated to providing added assistance to these small businesses, and this legislation puts us on the path to doing so.”

The legislation introduced would:

*Create a Broadband and Emerging Technology Coordinator within the SBA to better coordinate agency programs that assist small businesses in adopting, making innovations in and using broadband and other emerging technologies;

*Amend the mission of Small Business Development Centers to include assisting small businesses in accessing broadband and other emerging technologies.

*Amend the mission of the Women’s Business Centers to include assisting women-owned small businesses in accessing broadband and other emerging technologies.

*Create the “Rural Small Business Technology Pilot Program” to provide excess Government-owned computers each year to qualified small businesses at little or no cost

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