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Bipartisan Letter Prompts FCC on Rural Broadband Deployment
USAgNet - 05/16/2018

U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), members of the Senate Commerce Committee, Tuesday led 61 senators in a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, supporting the advancement and the accessibility of broadband services in rural communities.

In the letter, the senators requested more predictable and long-term efficiencies in the FCC's High-Cost Universal Service Fund, which is responsible for helping meet the Commission's goal to provide reliable and affordable communications to all Americans. Making sure the USF mechanism works as intended will enable businesses to invest and build out networks in areas lacking broadband services. The program is critical for rural Americans who live in regions of the country where service is needed, but where deploying broadband is difficult and costly.

Fischer and Klobuchar have successfully teamed up on broadband issues in the past. Their Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act, signed into law in March of this year, would boost wireless broadband coverage across rural America. The bill incentivizes wireless carriers to lease unused spectrum to rural or smaller carriers to expand wireless coverage to more rural communities.

A similar letter was led by Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and signed by 130 members of the House of Representatives.

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