(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced a bill to bring high-speed, affordable broadband to underserved areas in Washington state and across the country. Senator Murray’s bill would extend funding for broadband construction by $4 billion and create and save family-wage construction and maintenance jobs that are critical to economic recovery.

“This investment will help lay the groundwork to bring affordable and high-speed broadband to rural and underserved communities in Washington state and across the country,” said Senator Murray. “For too long, too many small businesses have lacked the access to resources they need to help them grow, create jobs and compete in this 21st century economy. And for too long, too many communities have lacked access to tools that could help provide families with better healthcare and better education. This funding is a critical investment in the future of our communities and I will continue working to bring broadband to communities in every corner of Washington state and across the country.”

Senator Murray is a longtime supporter of expanding broadband access to communities throughout Washington state and has introduced and supported several bills that aim to bring high-speed internet access to rural areas including the Community Telecommunications Planning Act, the Broadband Internet Access Act and the Rural Broadband Enhancement Act. She has also worked to include funding for access programs in the Farm Bill and Recovery Act. Senator Murray has also chaired conferences around the state, aimed at helping small and rural communities take advantage of new telecommunications technologies.