On January 31, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the formation of a new federal advisory committee to explore ways to accelerate deployment of broadband nationwide and to close the digital divide. The following may be attributed to Benton Foundation Director of Policy Amina Fazlullah:
The Benton Foundation is pleased to see that the top priority of new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is accelerating broadband deployment and closing the digital divide. The Benton Foundation shares the same priority.
Apparently, the advisory committee will be asked to promote broadband deployment through deregulation. Too often, communities lack local broadband choices because they are saddled with state or other regulations that prevent the investment in and delivery of broadband. We should eliminate state-level job-killing broadband regulations that stifle community broadband investment and local economic growth to enable every American, regardless of where they live, to take full advantage of local broadband investments, public-private partnerships, and new community broadband options.
We need to address how we will extend the benefits of broadband – and the opportunities it delivers – to all Americans. Our nation’s commitment to ubiquitous and affordable communications has never been more important. We look forward to working with Chairman Pai to make broadband universal and affordable for all Americans.