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WTAS: The Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda Will Close the Digital Divide


Washington D.C.– Here’s what experts and top voices in broadband deployment are saying about the Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda that House Republicans on Energy and Commerce released this week. Click here to read the agenda. Click here for the stories from Americans on why it’s critical we close the digital divide.

“The Republican Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have introduced a smart set of infrastructure reforms that would advance a bold and effective connectivity agenda… Their thoughtful reforms would help close the digital divide and further extend America’s leadership in 5G by helping to accelerate the build out of high-speed connections and boost competition for Americans’ broadband dollars. Their ideas, including legislation that would tackle the permitting delays that persist for Internet builds on federal lands, would make an immediate difference for rural communities across the country. I applaud their leadership and would encourage everyone that wants better, faster, and cheaper Internet services to work towards passing this important set of reforms.” Brendan Carr, Commissioner, FCC

“This legislation would create the environment necessary to speedily expand access to broadband for the Americans who need it most. I applaud Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers and her colleagues for their leadership.”—Nathan Simington, Commissioner, FCC

“Closing the digital divide requires modernizing all of our laws that impact broadband affordability, accessibility and sustainability. We applaud Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Congressman Latta, and other members of the Energy and Commerce Committee for tackling issues that impede investments in broadband infrastructure deployment.”—Tim McKone, Executive Vice President of Federal Relations, AT&T

“During #COVID19, the nation benefited from #ISPs’ past investments in their #broadband networks that proved able to meet the higher needs for connectivity. We salute GOP lawmakers for introducing a series of bills that foster even more investment & help address ongoing needs.”–Matthew M. Polka, President and CEO, ACA Connects via Twitter

“I thank Republican Members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee for their work to produce this legislative package regarding broadband permitting aimed to boost broadband connectivity for all Americans.  Closing the digital divide is certainly a bipartisan goal, and CCA supports efforts to make the permitting process a win-win for carriers and permitting officers.  Policymakers’ focus on ensuring broadband can be deployed in unserved and underserved areas is a real positive, and CCA is ready to work with Congress to help achieve this important goal.”—Steven K. Berry, President & CEO Steven K. Berry, CCA

“We applaud @HouseCommerce leaders for their leadership on closing the #DigitalDivide. In addition to smart funding, it’s important we streamline permitting regulations for speedy deployment.”–Chamber Technology Engagement Center via Twitter

“Broadband connects rural and urban communities alike to opportunity, and Charter is committed to doing its part to close the #digitaldivide. Thanks to @cathymcmorris and @boblatta for their work to promote #broadband adoption and remove regulatory obstacles to buildout.”—Charter Communications via Twitter

“The pandemic has illuminated and exacerbated the already wide #DigitalDivide in the U.S. We have a real opportunity to expanded access to broadband and we applaud legislation to do so. @HouseCommerce”—Cisco Public Policy via Twitter

“Comcast looks forward to working with Ranking Member Rodgers, Congressman Latta and the Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee on their legislative efforts to help close the digital divide and expand broadband connectivity to all Americans. These policy initiatives would accelerate the deployment of broadband to many unserved areas throughout our country. We thank them for their leadership in this vital policy area.” —Mitch Rose, Executive Vice President for Federal Government Affairs, Comcast

“We commend Ranking Member McMorris Rodgers, Ranking Member Latta and their colleagues on the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their support of smart policies to encourage swift buildout of 5G nationwide, which is essential as we rebuild the U.S. economy and work to close the digital divide. According to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group, the deployment of next-generation wireless networks will contribute $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP and create 4.5 million jobs in the next decade.”—Kelly Cole, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, CTIA®

“We thank Ranking Member McMorris Rodgers, Congressman Latta, and members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their work to accelerate the deployment of next generation equipment that innovators and job creators need to deliver modern wireless services to American consumers and businesses.”–Jeff Blum, Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs, DISH

“Bipartisan action to improve broadband infrastructure is welcome news for our economy, job seekers and every American family seeking faster more affordable internet access. We want to thank Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Republican Subcommittee Leader Bob Latta (R-OH) for stressing the need to streamline deployment by removing permitting delays, franchise fees and other local rules for accessing the public rights of way that impact competitors and delay new network growth. This is critical for both fiber and 5G deployment. COVID-19 has been a wake up call for small towns and communities across the nation. New networks mean faster speeds and lower prices, and there is no time to delay action.”–Chip Pickering, CEO, INCOMPAS

“We appreciate key U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee members for introducing legislation that will streamline rights-of-way approvals and eliminate outdated rules governing the deployment of #broadband infrastructure to more Americans. #investinbroadband #connectivity”– Lumen Public Sector via Twitter

“With so many people forced to work, study, play and just communicate from home because of the pandemic, we are seeing first-hand the critical importance of improving connectivity and expanding broadband. Additionally, NATE member companies and their technician workers are on the front lines of deployment on a daily basis and have directly experienced the regulatory hurdles and permitting bottlenecks that hinder their work. NATE supports this comprehensive legislative package that will ultimately streamline regulatory processes and address these urgent deployment issues while helping to close the digital divide.”— Jim Goldwater, Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association (NATE)

“As an industry committed to shrinking the digital divide, we welcome the efforts of Ranking Member McMorris-Rogers, Congressman Latta and other members of the House Energy and Commerce committee to forward ideas that can promote broadband adoption and remove obstacles that impede deployment of high-speed networks. We look forward to working on these issues with them in the coming Congress.”—NCTA

“Nokia applauds the continued efforts of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to bridge the digital divide. We look forward to the upcoming discussion on this important topic and will support Congress’ efforts to bring modern updates to infrastructure in the US.”–Brian Hendricks, Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs, North America, Nokia

“NTCA members face a number of challenges in deploying and sustaining broadband networks in the most rural regions of the United States. Combined with programs that provide sufficient resources and help make the business case for broadband investment in rural America possible, efforts to streamline permitting procedures and facilitate network deployment on public lands represent an important part of a comprehensive strategy to advance universal service. We therefore appreciate the interest and leadership of the House Energy & Commerce Republicans in seeking to promote more efficient deployment by reducing unnecessary barriers and burdens – especially for smaller operators – and we look forward to continued conversations on the most effective approaches to achieve a shared mission of nationwide connectivity.” – Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association

“Thankful for the excellent work and leadership by Ranking Members @cathymcmorris and @boblatta and team on the Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda. We look forward to bipartisan efforts to accelerate deployment of advanced wireless services and closing the digital divide.”–Tony Russo, Vice President, Federal Government Relations, T-Mobile via Twitter

“Zeroing in on things like cutting red tape and process streamlining by Representatives McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Latta (R-OH) and members of the Energy & Commerce Committee is so timely to our shared goal of expanding access to broadband during the pandemic – and beyond. Consumers in every corner of the country deserve 21st century connectivity, but that work is made harder when network innovators run into outdated rules and slow approvals that make broadband construction and infrastructure deployment painfully slow, more expensive or downright impossible.”— Jonathan Spalter, President and CEO, USTelecom

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of broadband connectivity for all Americans. As we redouble our efforts to expand broadband access and affordability throughout the country, a key component must be the modernization of the current siting approval processes that too often slow down broadband projects and make them more expensive. Verizon commends the House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH) and other Committee members’ legislative proposals designed to update and streamline federal infrastructure laws to enable the faster deployment of broadband.”–Robert Fisher, SVP, Federal Government Relations, Verizon

“WIA appreciates Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans’ focus on collocation and broadband deployment, especially at a time when connectivity is more important than ever. Collocation is essential for emergency communications to ensure public safety and for the U.S. to continue to compete in the global race to 5G. We look forward to continuing to work with the Committee to provide solutions to ubiquitous broadband deployment.”–Matt Mandel, VP, Government and Public Affairs, Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA)

“WISPA is encouraged by the House Republicans’ introduction of legislative measures designed to help improve broadband access for all Americans.  This comprehensive package of bills contains a number of meaningful, focused ideas that, if enacted, would remove many stubborn barriers which limit the reach of providers to deliver broadband to unserved, underserved and marginalized communities.”—Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPA)

Press Release