Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on April 11 introduced the Internet Exchange (IX) Act (S. 1166) to help improve Internet access in rural communities.The legislation authorizes matching grants to be administered by NTIA to help establish new Internet Exchange facilities where none exist, or to help an existing one expand. The legislation will also permit E-rate program participants to use funding to contract with a broadband provider to obtain a connection to an Internet Exchange facility, or to pay the cost of maintaining a point of presence at an Internet Exchange facility.  

The bill has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee and will provide additional updates as this moves through the legislative process. Senator Baldwin’s statement on this legislation can be viewed here and Senator Blackburn’s statement on this legislation can be viewed here.