D.C. Watch

Share your county’s ARPA story with members of Congress; Broadband Development Office seeks feedback.

April 28, 2022

Legislative News

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Share Your County’s ARPA Story With Members of Congress

Let your member of Congress know how your county is pursuing thoughtful, responsible investments of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and if your county is coordinating with state and local partners.

What county service, program or idea are you highlighting and how will it affect the lives of your residents? Are you investing in small businesses and nonprofits; vaccine distribution; public health and safety; human services, especially for those suffering from domestic violence, mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders; or much-needed infrastructure, including broadband?

Counties have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting the lives and well-being of their residents first, and are leading the way in our economic recovery. Tell your county’s story.

Contact your representative and senators today.

Broadband Development Office Input Opportunities

The Texas Broadband Development Office continues to ask for feedback as part of its state broadband plan development.

High-speed internet is a requirement for most, if not all, aspects of modern life. Reliable, high-speed internet access is a necessity for education, business, agriculture, public safety and public health. Texas communities without access are at a disadvantage. Help bridge the digital divide by sharing your concerns, challenges and feedback about broadband access in your area.

Complete an online survey on broadband service in Texas or offer feedback on broadband via phone at (833) 3-TEXBDO [(833) 383-9236].

Expanding Rural Broadband

Sen. John Cornyn joined East Texas leaders for a broadband roundtable discussion that highlighted the challenges of limited broadband access that many Texas communities experience. The group also discussed Cornyn’s proposed legislation that would allow local leaders to use unspent COVID-19 relief funds for regional projects such as expanding broadband and infrastructure.

Roundtable participants shared how broadband access affects education, health care and economic development, and they emphasized the importance of bridging the digital divide.

Texas Rural Funders invites community leaders, rural broadband advocates, philanthropy partners and other interested stakeholders to a rural broadband summit on May 18 in Bryan. The summit will focus on bringing high-quality broadband to communities. Attendees will:

  • Learn from rural and urban Texas communities about expanding access, adoption and use of broadband.
  • Access resources and tools to move communities to the next level of success.
  • Network with state and national broadband experts and make local connections.
Register here.

Rural Infrastructure Funding

The White House released a new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Rural Guidebook intended to help rural communities understand the available funding for infrastructure provided by the infrastructure law and other sources — offering information on the “what, where and how” to apply for federal infrastructure dollars.

As part of this effort, seven key federal agencies have published rural factsheets that highlight how to use agency resources and capabilities to help rural communities. Links to their factsheets can be found below for more information.

To find funding opportunities as they are released, see the National Association of Counties’ BIL Funding Opportunities for Counties or TAC's Grant Opportunities webpage.

For more information, please contact Megan Molleur or Austin McCarty at (800) 456-5974.