House bill advances rural telecom, 911
The House of Representatives last week passed H.R. 2419 — known as the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 — by a vote of 318-106. The bill addresses health care, emergency, and first responder needs of rural areas. It authorizes the Rural Firefighters and Emergency Medical Service Assistance Program to provide improved emergency medical services in rural areas; expands 911 access in rural areas by making loans to public entities for facilities and equipment; and improves access to broadband telecommunications services in rural areas.