By B.N. Frank
According to a lawsuit filed against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by a group of telecom experts who call themselves, “The Irregulators”, Americans have already paid for telecom-related services that many have still not received including high speed broadband via fiber optics to the premises. Additionally, for decades, Americans have been overcharged for telecom-related services and we are still being overcharged (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Despite all of this having been proven, the FCC as well as other federal and state agencies and federal and state committees continue to allocate billions more to the telecom companies that actually created the “digital divide” (see 1, 2, 3). These companies are then primarily deploying cheaper, inferior, unreliable, and unsafe Wi-Fi and 5G for high-speed broadband (see 1, 2, 3) instead of safer, more secure, and more reliable fiber optics to the premises (FTTP) and copper landline connections. Now GOP committee leaders seem to be demanding that there be more accountability for how and where the money is spent. How thoughtful!
From Inside Towers:
GOP Committee Leaders Share Broadband Program Priorities with NTIA
House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Robert Latta (R-OH), along with U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and John Thune (R-SD), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, outlined their priorities for implementation of broadband programs from NTIA and the Infrastructure Law.
In a letter to NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson, the lawmakers call on NTIA to Commit to using the FCC’s new broadband maps, once challenges are resolved, for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program, and not rely on other data sources to supplement or substitute these maps. “NTIA should not award funds until the FCC’s broadband maps are completed, with challenges adjudicated,” they say. Awarding money before the maps are resolved “could undermine the success of this program.”
They also recommend avoiding overbuilding existing networks, and leaving unserved and underserved communities without connectivity. “Such actions would further exacerbate the digital divide and waste taxpayer dollars,” note lawmakers.
The legislators stress that NTIA should provide an equal opportunity for all broadband providers to compete for grants by not prioritizing municipal networks or networks run by nonprofits or cooperatives, and not favoring certain broadband technologies over others. “The program should consider all technologies that can meet the network requirements at a reasonable cost,” say lawmakers.
NATE Director of Government Relations Todd Washam told Inside Towers that the association appreciates the call for federally funded broadband programs to be technology neutral. As the Infrastructure Law was being drafted, “NATE advocated for the inclusion of all technologies that can help close the digital divide, including fixed wireless and fiber,” he said.
NATE agrees with the legislators that “a technology-inclusive approach will maximize the impact of the funding and efficiently connect more Americans faster,” says Washam.
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief
The FCC is supposed to protect Americans by regulating the telecom industry. Instead it has catered to the industry for decades (see 1, 2) and numerous lawsuits have been filed against them because of this. In fact, last year, a federal court ruled in favor of organizations and petitioners that sued the agency for NOT adequately protecting Americans from wireless radiation exposure (including 5G).
Activist Post reports regularly about the FCC, government corruption, and unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- The Irregulators
- Americans for Responsible Technology
- Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
- Environmental Health Trust
- Physicians for Safe Technology
- Wireless Information Network
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