Chairman Blackburn Sides With President Trump on Broadband

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House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) isn’t joining fellow rural state lawmakers in pushing for dedicated funding for broadband in the infrastructure package. She wants to focus on bills to streamline permitting and clear away regulations impeding new networks, and attach them to the infrastructure legislation. “I want to see how much bipartisan support we can end up building for simplifying this process,” she said. Full House Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) agreed: “Sometimes it’s more than just the money,” he said, arguing that FCC subsidies already provide billions of dollars for broadband and that the private sector is doing just fine. But small telecoms from Blackburn’s home state say simply cutting red tape isn’t enough to close the urban-rural digital divide. “Money drives the network,” said Levoy Knowles, executive director of the Tennessee Telecommunications Association, citing estimates that the state needs well over $1 billion for broadband. “There has to be some dedicated money to close the gap.”


Chairman Blackburn Sides With President Trump on Broadband President Donald J. Trump Will Rebuild American Infrastructure and Forge a Path Towards Greater Prosperity (White House)