Del Norte’s representative in Congress introduced a bill that would make it easier for public agencies to partner with private entities and local communities to expand broadband infrastructure.

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) introduced the Public Lands Telecommunications Act in Congress on Thursday.

If approved, the bill would allow federal land management agencies like the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management to retain fees for rights-of-way and other telecommunications infrastructure use to ensure the funds are reinvested for further broadband and telecommunications deployment, according to a press release from Huffman’s office. The Public Lands Telecommunications Act would also allow federal land management agencies to work cooperatively with industry representatives to administer communications sites. According to Huffman’s office, this would break down funding silos and encourage new federal partnerships.

The Natural Resources Committee approved a version of Huffman’s Public Lands Telecommunications Act bill by unanimous consent in the 115th Congress, according to Huffman’s office.

The current version of the bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) and Mississippi Congressman Bennie G. Thompson.

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