Washington, D.C. — U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Robert Latta (R-OH) released this statement following a meeting at the White House to discuss closing the digital divide and ensuring rural and unserved communities have the broadband services they need.
“Millions of Americans continue to lack access to critical broadband resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. While closing the digital divide should be a bipartisan goal, Energy and Commerce Republicans are concerned that the Biden Administration’s proposals will waste taxpayer money without expanding broadband to unserved Americans. Instead of working to increase access to broadband for all Americans, they are prioritizing inefficient—and often poorly managed—government-run networks, providing subsidies in the absence of accurate broadband mapping data, and establishing duplicative Federal programs. In addition, the administration is creating arbitrary speed requirements that merely lead to upgrades in areas that already have service. This will delay truly unserved communities from accessing reliable, high speed broadband.
“Energy and Commerce Republicans have a better plan, the American Broadband Act, which targets federal dollars to areas with no broadband service by using accurate data and removing regulatory barriers to speed up deployment. Any policy that intends to close the digital divide must prioritize access for truly unserved communities. That can only happen with a light touch regulatory approach that protects against overbuilding and requires the use of accurate broadband maps. House broadband leaders look forward to continued discussions with the Biden-Harris Administration and Congressional Democrats on how best to target our resources to close the digital divide once and for all.”
CLICK HERE for more information on the American Broadband Act.