Good News for Rural Broadband

Ammendment #31 of Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Western Caucus Member Doug LaMalfa (CA-01)Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at CTIA Kelly Cole, and President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association Jonathan Adelstein released the following statements after Congressman LaMalfa’s amendment to H.R. 2 – which would streamline the permitting process for rural broadband infrastructure – passed the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by unanimous voice vote: 

Congressman Doug LaMalfa said: “Broadband coverage in rural areas has been a challenge for quite some time. As providers build newer infrastructure to support 5G services, it will require more antennas spaced more closely together. While wireless providers generally locate antennas and facilities on private property, they also require access to Federal land to ensure more complete coverage, including for providing emergency services. Unfortunately, the process for securing access to federal land and property has been problematic – providers have faced long delays and uncertain procedures. My bipartisan amendment aims to streamline this process and help bring better broadband coverage to Rural America, and I thank my colleagues for the unanimous support.”

This is good news.  The town of Washington was unable to get broadband access due to Forest Service resistance to putting a relay receiver and transmitter on National Forest Land, even though this was the very best location. SEDCorp and GCBC met several times with the Forest Service and the administrative obstacles they presented were huge. I hope this amendment will make it through the Senate.

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