Congressman Denver Riggleman Introduces Bill to Help Broadband Providers in Rural Areas

February 11, 2020
Press Release

Washington D.C.–Congressman Riggleman recently introduced H.R.5844 the ACCESS Rural America Act, a bill to provide regulatory relief to small broadband companies so they can raise capital and add investors without being required to file costly SEC reporting requirements. Under current law broadband companies are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when they reach 500 non-accredited investors, Congressman Riggleman's bill would change that number to 1,250 non-accredited investors. The ACCESS Rural America Act will allow companies to focus on deploying broadband services in rural communities, not burdensome federal regulations. 

"Since coming to Congress bringing broadband internet to rural parts of my district has been a top priority of mine," said Rep. Riggleman. "By cutting this arcane regulation we can help these companies bring high-speed internet to our communities quickly and more efficiently."

The Rural Broadband Association CEO Shirley Bloomfield said: “Federal Securities and Exchange Commission registration and reporting requirements intended for larger, publicly-traded firms pose significant challenges for, and can impose substantial burdens on, smaller, locally-owned companies with limited resources.  NTCA therefore greatly appreciates the leadership of Rep. Denver Riggleman in introducing the ACCESS Rural America Act in the House, which will help relieve these burdens and enable small providers to focus more on their core mission of deploying and operating advanced broadband networks in rural areas.”

Due to the high cost of broadband implementation, it can be difficult for small companies in this sphere to achieve the funding levels they need without passing the investor cap that would force them to become publicly traded. The bill has companion legislation in the Senate S.1502 which is Sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA).