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ICYMI: Leader Rodgers on Closing the Digital Divide


10.28.21

American leadership depends on us closing the digital divide, embracing innovation, and harnessing next generation digital technologies and infrastructure.  

Too many Americans continue to lack access to reliable, affordable, high-speed wireless networks. In order to close the digital divide we need to ensure broadband investments are targeted so resources are going to the people who need them most. 

Yesterday, House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers discussed closing the digital divide with The Hill’s Steve Clemons.  

HIGHLIGHTS 

ON UPDATING THE FCC BROADBAND MAPS 

“It’s my hope that we will really get these maps updated so that the resources are going to the people who need them most. I represent a region in Eastern Washington where Spoke is the largest city, but you don’t even get outside of Spokane very far and there are small towns where they have nothing. There’s no connection.  

“When Brendan Carr, the FCC Commissioner, spent time in Eastern Washington with me he was surprised actually as he was traveling around my district at different times where there was no connection.” 

[…] 

We need to close this digital divide once and for all. In order to do that we need to have maps that reflect where the actual needs are. I’m worried we’re going to be spending billions of dollars, but it’s not going to go to the truly unserved, underserved areas in my district and around the country.” 

ON THE PARTISAN SENATE INFRASTRUCTURE PROPOSAL 

What we’re seeing in the House is that the Senate infrastructure bill has really been tied to the partisan reconciliation package. We have concerns about the lack of real targeting of this investment.” 

“The legislation also needs to be more focused on being technology neutral. I am concerned that the way the language is currently written it, it may be possible for areas that already have connections… to take a disproportionate amount of the funds that are going to be appropriated.” 

[…] 

“We also need to be addressing some of the permitting issues that are hampering deployment in regions around this country and so far this package fails to do that.” 

CLICK HERE to watch the full interview.  

READ MORE about the E&C Republican’s Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda. 

WATCH Leader Rodgers make the first 5G call from Eastern Washington. 

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