FCC Broadband Advisory Panel Attracts Congressional Interest

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UPDATE  U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.VA.) want to work with the FCC broadband advisory panel announced by Chairman Ajit Pai. Calling Pai a “passionate advocate for rural broadband,” Klobuchar tells Politico she looks forward to working with the new Chairman, her colleagues and the committee “to improve the deployment of broadband infrastructure so that more Americans have access to high-speed internet no matter where they live.”

More than 70 members of the U.S. House sent a letter to President Donald Trump this week urging him to include investments in rural broadband connectivity in his forthcoming infrastructure proposal. “Rural communities cannot attract and retain businesses and human resources if they are insufficiently connected,” they write. Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), and Bob Latta (R-OH) organized the letter, they announced. 

“In the 21st Century, high speed internet access is no longer a luxury amenity, but rather an essential service for homes and businesses in this interconnected world,” the lawmakers write. “Unfortunately, rural Americans in our districts lack sufficient broadband infrastructure to take advantage of this explosion of technology and economic possibility…. As you consider the parameters of your infrastructure proposal to Congress, we write to urge you to include investments that will bring the benefits of broadband connectivity to rural America.”

Klobuchar and Capito led a similar letter from the Senate Broadband Caucus, joined by Angus King (I-ME), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and John Boozman (R-AR).

February 2, 2017

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