On May 2, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), introduced the
Gigabit Opportunity Act
(GO Act), which is designed to accelerate the development of high-speed internet in low-income and rural communities. The act "expands broadband in these communities by targeting investments to areas with the greatest need, eliminating barriers to investment and streamlining patchwork regulations."
The GO Act:
- Targets investments to areas poised for growth: The GO Act directs investments to low-income and rural communities with the greatest potential for economic development by providing tax deferral and immediate expensing for companies investing in gigabit-capable broadband expansion.
- Streamlines patchwork regulations: The GO Act directs the FCC to release a framework that encourages states, counties and cities to voluntarily adopt streamlined broadband laws and be designated as a "Gigabit Opportunity Zone."
- Eliminates barriers to investment: The GO Act temporarily defers capital gains for broadband investments and upgrades, and allows companies to immediately expense the cost of gigabit-capable equipment in "Gigabit Opportunity Zones." The GO Act also allows states to issue tax-exempt bonds without a low-income geographic requirement.
INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering offered his support of the legislation, saying "For rural and low-income communities to be able to take advantage of the broadband economy we need new networks in new places. We thank Sen. Capito for her leadership, and look forward to working with her to help bring faster speeds and more choices to families and small businesses across America."