Republican members of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology today laid out four resolutions that kick off the federal government's legislative process for improving broadband infrastructure in the United States.
Chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the subcommittee (a.k.a. SubCommTech) measures will remove barriers to build-out, support innovation and focus on communities with little or limited high-speed broadband, members said in a release.
The four resolutions are:
Direct broadband infrastructure spending toward regions that are currently under-served -- Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
Make certain federal policy treats all broadband providers in a "technology neutral manner," using consistent laws to support innovation -- Bob Latta (Chairman, Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection)
Give wireless broadband infrastructure funding preference to those states that support "small cell siting reform" to simplify and accelerate permitting processes -- Richard Hudson (R-NC)
Coordinate and reconcile federal, state and local tax, regulatory, permitting and other requirements to "maximize the benefits of broadband investment" -- Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
These resolutions help create a foundation for future legislation, said Blackburn. However, the statement did not address the Federal Communications Commission's anticipated move to dramatically lower the definition of acceptable broadband speed by including a wireless broadband specification to determine whether unserved and underserved regions are still eligible to receive broadband funding. (See FCC to Shrink Digital Divide – Without Expanding Broadband.)
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