Moolenaar Introduces the BOOST Act
Today, Congressman John Moolenaar (R-MI) was joined by Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) in introducing the Broadening Online Opportunities through Simple Technologies (BOOST) Act in the House of Representatives.
The bipartisan rural broadband legislation allows rural homeowners and primary lessees to claim a $300 tax credit after purchasing a mobile hotspot they can use to connect to the Internet or a signal booster they can use to increase the speed of a slow connection.
“The BOOST Act will help families connect to the Internet by creating their own Internet hotspots or by boosting the speed of a connection they already have,” said Congressman Moolenaar. “This legislation empowers homeowners who have been waiting far too long for reliable Internet access in their area and makes Internet access more affordable. I am proud to have bipartisan support for this legislation.”
“Broadband access in rural America has long been lacking and the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated why broadband is a necessity in our current world,” said Chairman Bishop. “The BOOST Act will help rural Americans conduct business from home, do homework, and receive telemedicine—all of which are even more important during the pandemic, but will be useful for many years to come.”
“Right now, those without reliable wired broadband face the threat of falling behind in school or at work. I am glad to introduce the BOOST Act to provide the tax credit these students, workers, and businesses need to more easily afford equipment to improve their wireless Internet signal, which can cost hundreds of dollars without the assistance this bill provides,” said Congressman Panetta. “This tax credit will help consumers on the Central Coast and nationwide better access Internet services in an important step forward in closing the digital divide.”
The BOOST Act allows homeowners in rural areas to claim a $300 tax credit after purchasing a mobile hotspot. The credit is only available to homeowners who live in areas where they cannot connect to the Internet or their speeds do not meet the federal minimum requirements of 25 megabits per second for downloads and three megabits per second for uploads. A map of eligible areas is available here: https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/auction-904-preliminary-eligible-areas/
The credit is technology-neutral so it can be used by a homeowner to purchase the technology that works best for them. So one homeowner could claim the tax credit after buying a signal booster, while another could use it after purchasing equipment to receive Internet signal from a satellite.
A copy of the legislation is attached. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.