Trump Could Cut Rural Broadband Deployment Red Tape

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As the dust begins to settle after the election, the Trump transition team is at work. The group has launched a website “Greatagain.gov” with a @transition2017 associated Twitter feed linked to the account.

Lobbying groups are adjusting their game-plans in preparation for a Trump administration and the start of the 115th Session of Congress in January.

Trump’s election reflects deep economic frustration, according to TechFreedom President Berin Szóka. The leader of the think tank advocating technology progress sees bridging the Digital Divide with broadband as essential to empowering rural America.                

While private industry has invested nearly $1.5 trillion in rural broadband deployment, the action remains “unnecessarily difficult because of red tape, high fees and poor infrastructure planning at all levels of government. Fixing that could bring faster, cheaper broadband to millions of Americans, especially in rural areas,” says Szóka in a statement.

Telecom advocacy group INCOMPAS agrees. In congratulating Trump, CEO Chip Pickering says the election shows Americans are fed up with “paying more and getting less for many things, including broadband service.”

“Deploying new competitive broadband networks, both wired and wireless, to all Americans, urban and rural, could be an important hallmark for the Trump presidency,” says Pickering, who was a Hill staffer during the effort to enact passage of the revised Telecom Act in ’96.

TechFreedom’s Szóka, meanwhile, brings Net Neutrality into the discussion, calling the Trump election “a new opportunity to end the divisive and distracting fight,” over the issue. He characterizes the FCC’s reclassification of broadband as a common carrier a “staggering power grab.” The FTC is more suited to policing whether ISPs are “throttling” or slowing upload and download speeds for certain content based on who pays more, Szóka asserts.

Many telecoms belong to the Consumer Technology Association and its President/CEO Gary Shapiro is optimistic Trump’s victory is an opportunity for pro-business policies. Specifically, Trump can cut corporate taxes, invest in infrastructure and stimulate the economy, he believes.

“Along with a Republican-controlled Senate, President-elect Trump will work with the business community to strip excess regulation and promote innovation. He’ll appoint pro-business regulators and Supreme Court nominees. And he’ll freeze and roll back overbearing rules that hurt business,” states Shapiro.

November 11, 2016

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