Press Release
Senator Michael Testa Senator Michael Testa (R-1)
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Contact: Robbie Kenney / (609) 847-3600
July 30, 2020
Testa Bill to Bring Broadband Service to Rural Communities Advances

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Requires EDA to Provide Loans to Entice Telecom Providers to Expand High-Speed Networks

Residents in rural areas of the state frustrated by slow internet service could see relief under legislation sponsored by Senator Michael Testa and advanced today by the Senate.

The bill (S-1458) requires the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to offer loans to broadband telecom companies to expand coverage areas and bring state-of-the-art technology to currently underserved communities.

Rural areas of South Jersey could have access to broadband telecommunication services under Senator Testa’s bill, approved today by the Senate.

“Not long ago, high speed internet was a luxury, but today it is an absolute necessity, especially for small businesses and students who rely on computers for access to research, and livestreaming lessons,” said Testa (R-1). “For many local students enrolled at Rowan’s Cumberland campus, the internet at their homes is so unreliable they have no choice but to travel to school facilities to use broadband service. That is unacceptable in this day and age.”

During the ongoing pandemic, many students were unable to attend online classes due to slow internet speeds and inferior cable service.

Substandard internet service has impacted farming operations in the Cape May and Cumberland County areas, as well. Developments in technology has made farming more efficient and productive, but digital monitoring of soil, moisture levels and access to markets all require reliable, high speed connections.

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