WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus, was presented the Smart Rural Community Champion Award at the NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association Breakfast for her leadership in expanding affordable broadband access. Klobuchar’s Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act was incorporated into the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and has delivered significant federal funding to Minnesota for expanding high-speed internet access statewide. Download a photo here.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the NTCA, an organization committed to ensuring high-speed internet reaches rural communities across our country,” said Klobuchar. “Internet access is necessary for everything from education to healthcare, not to mention for keeping in touch with friends and family. However, millions of Americans currently don’t have a reliable broadband connection in their homes. That’s why I worked to secure historic funding to deliver high-speed internet to every zip code in America.” 

Klobuchar has long led efforts to expand broadband access, support rural broadband, and bridge the digital divide.

In June 2023, Klobuchar announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce had awarded major federal funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to bring reliable, affordable, high-speed internet access to every household in Minnesota. The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, Klobuchar’s legislation with Former House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) to expand high-speed internet nationwide, served as the basis for the program created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

In March 2023, Klobuchar and Senators John Thune (R-SD), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to expand broadband access to rural communities. The Reforming Broadband Connectivity Act would strengthen funding mechanisms for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Universal Service Fund (USF), which promotes universal access to broadband and other telecommunications services. Currently, the USF is primarily funded through landline fees, disproportionately impacting seniors, who are more likely to use landlines than other Americans. 

In February 2023, Klobuchar introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to strengthen broadband access for rural communities. The Rural Broadband Protection Act would ensure that providers applying for federal funding can reliably deliver broadband to underserved, rural communities. 

In July 2021, Klobuchar introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to expand rural broadband access by streamlining the funding process and removing barriers for broadband connectivity in hard-to-serve rural areas.