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Baldwin Pushes Bill to Improve Internet Access in Rural America
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/15/2019

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee in introducing the bipartisan Internet Exchange Act to help improve Internet access for consumers in rural areas. Specifically, the legislation authorizes matching grants to be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to help establish new IX facilities where none exist, or to help existing ones expand.

"We need to strengthen our internet infrastructure to better serve Middle America and rural communities, and improve the online experience for people in all parts of our country," Baldwin said. "This bipartisan measure will help expand broadband access across our country. By investing in our internet infrastructure and adding more internet exchanges in Wisconsin and throughout the heartland, we can help more rural households and rural businesses gain better access to high-speed internet."

IX facilities provide opportunities for data centers and cloud computing to be collocated at IX sites, thus increasing efficiency and boosting local economies. Currently, IXs are concentrated in big cities and in the coastal states.

Internet Exchanges are physical locations where networks come together to allow subscribers of different Internet service providers to communicate with one another. They also provide opportunities for content delivery networks and others to cache content closer to end-users, thus reducing latency and increasing network efficiency to improve the online experience for consumers, especially in rural areas.

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