A member of the North Carolina State legislature is now a member of the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee. The new body is tasked with providing expertise and recommendations to the Commission on a variety of telecommunication issues, focusing on broadband and wireless infrastructure deployment, Universal Service programs, consumer complaints processes and public safety issues.
The IAC will operate for a two-year term, which will commence with the committee’s first meeting in Washington, D.C. at FCC headquarters on a date to be announced. The agency will have the option to reauthorize the IAC at the end of the two-year period.
“The IAC serves as an advisory board to the FCC to relay some of the challenges that state and local governments face with broadband deployment,” said Lincoln County state Rep. Jason Saine, who previously operated a small tech company that worked on servers and desktops, helping to integrate small businesses that were just beginning to adopt the internet as part of their practices. Saine was recognized for his work in IT with the North Carolina Technology Association Public Leadership award.
“It provides a nice platform to interact with federal decision-makers on some of the policies that they’re setting forth and how they work and how they don’t work. Sometimes regulations are passed that they believe are helpful, but in reality they may be hurtful. This will allow me to work with federal regulators and keep them aware of the challenges facing Lincoln County and how to best address those issues,” said Saine.
There are good broadband options in Lincoln County, according to Saine, but some of the more rural areas lack the number of households to be able to receive the same services as larger metros. When the North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes, Seine plans to introduce a bill to help rural broadband deployment. He described these proposed small cell broadband capabilities, where telephone poles are used to create WiFi networks signals, as the “wave of the future,” in an announcement.
“It will be very interesting to serve on this board with a new administration that is very pro-business and wants to innovate,” Saine said. “What we really want to do is get government regulation out of the way so that you can see private enterprise expand broadband options … I hear from leaders across the state from municipalities and counties who want more high-speed broadband because they feel as though it would help their economic development and recruitment. My main focus on this advisory board is to make sure that the federal government understands that when they put barriers in place it puts smaller cities and counties at a competitive disadvantage.”
January 10, 2017