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Draft Broadband Deployment Report Shows Significant Progress in Closing ‘Digital Divide’


02.22.19

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) and Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH) released the following statements after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) circulated its draft 2019 Broadband Deployment Report, which shows significant progress has been made toward closing the digital divide. Specifically, the report states that the number of Americans lacking access to a fixed broadband connection meeting the FCC’s benchmark speeds has fallen by 25 percent – from 26.1 million people at the end of 2016 to 19.4 million by the end of 2017.

“This report shows that the FCC’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens are helping more Americans gain access to broadband and bringing us closer to finally closing the digital divide,” Walden said. “But despite these breakthroughs, there is still more work to be done — and that’s why Republicans want to find a bipartisan solution for net neutrality. We need open internet certainty without the excessive and unrelated burdens of Title 2.”

“Closing the ‘digital divide’ is one of my top priorities as Republican Leader on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and this report shows that efforts to reduce regulatory burdens and support investment are helping more Americans gain access to high-speed broadband,” Latta said. “Representing a number of rural areas in Congress, I know the difference that this will make in family homes and for businesses on Main Street in these communities. At the same time, there’s still more work to be done at the FCC and in Congress to make access to high-speed Internet a reality for all Americans.”

Click here to read more information about the report.

Background:

Walden, Latta, and Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) sent a letter to Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chair Michael F. Doyle (D-PA) requesting the committee work together to find a bipartisan solution for net neutrality.

The letter comes on the heels of a Subcommittee on Communication and Technology hearing where Reps. Walden, Latta, and Rodgers introduced three net neutrality bills, presenting a menu of options to get started on crafting a bipartisan solution.

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Press Release