What a treat it was to be invited to testify before the Natural Resources Committee this week!
It was a great opportunity to share that after the initial business case can be made for rural broadband, we come to the next significant challenge – the barriers to deployment itself. This is where the questions and legislation presented in the committee’s hearing become so important, helping to reduce responsibly and thoughtfully the costs and time associated with deployment and allowing providers to get back to the business of building broadband networks in rural America.
Due in part to the leadership of the committee, small, rural broadband providers like those in NTCA’s membership have made great strides in reducing the digital divide in rural America. But the job is far from done. H.R. 4824: The Rural Broadband Efficiency Act of 2018, under consideration, would represent a welcomed and sensible step forward in promoting broadband deployment and addressing challenges carriers face in planning for and building broadband in rural America. Together with a sufficient USF program, in coordination with other broadband proposals in Congress and across federal agencies that recognize the importance of broadband to rural communities, we believe bills such as this one can help us make great collective progress in tackling our nation’s broadband challenges.
I welcomed the fact that members of the committee were so supportive of the need for broadband deployment in their rural communities and appreciated the robust discussion that followed my testimony.