LEWISTON, Maine (WABI) – Maine Democratic Rep. Jared Golden has announced a new proposal to expand high-speed internet to rural areas.
Golden on Thursday introduced the bipartisan Small Business Last Mile Act, which would create a federal program to build broadband in rural communities.
“We’re really going after a very core, specific need here, which is helping entrepreneurs and small-business owners in rural America connect to high-speed internet, so they can compete in the 21st century,” Golden said.
It would offer entrepreneurs and existing business owners grants as high as $35,000.
“It’s pretty expensive to get that connection even when you have fiber backbone running up through somewhere nearby, for a small business owner a $15,000 or $30,000 expenditure is nothing to blink at, so this grant program would help pay for small businesses to connect that last mile from the fiber to the business,” Golden said.
The $25 million a year program would be run by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Golden’s cosponsor of the Last Mile Act is a Minnesota Republican who services on the House Small Business Committee with him.
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