Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Rep McMorris Rodgers, Sen Wicker Raise Concern Over Secretary Raimondo’s Statement on BEAD Program

Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) would consider an area “as unserved until [it is] actually served” when determining areas eligible for BEAD program funding, raising the potential for overbuilding unfinished federally-subsidized projects. Not only would this approach undermine the success of this program, it would ignore congressional intent, waste taxpayer dollars, complicate already-strained broadband supply chains and workforce shortages, and leave rural America further behind. Moreover, it coul

Sen Wicker's Remarks at Department of Commerce Budget Priorities Hearing

Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) participated in a hearing to consider the Department of Commerce budget for Fiscal Year 2023, which featured testimony from Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. "Last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law placed the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the center of our efforts to expand broadband access and close the digital divide," said Wicker.

House and Senate Republican Commerce Committee Leaders Share Broadband Program Priorities with NTIA

House Reps Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Robert Latta (R-OH), along with Sens Roger Wicker (R-MS) and John Thune (R-SD), sent a letter to Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson outlining their priorities for implementation of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA’s) Infrastructure and Jobs Act (IIJA) broadband programs. The legislators call on the NTIA to:

Sen Wicker Calls for Oversight Review on COVID-19 Broadband Spending

Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) urged the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) to conduct an oversight review into pandemic-related spending to ensure broadband funds were used appropriately for assisting unserved communities and those economically affected by the pandemic. In response to the need for broadband amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress created multiple broadband accessibility programs that allocated billions of dollars to assist Americans in their participation in remote activities.

Senators Request FCC Provide More Information on Future Spectrum Auction Opportunities

Sens Roger Wicker, (R-MS) and John Thune (R-SD) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel requesting information on future spectrum auction opportunities and policy reforms that can be made to auction rules to promote international competitiveness, maximize spectrum use efficiency, and foster the rapid deployment of next-generation technologies. The FCC’s statutory authority to conduct spectrum auctions is set to expire later in 2022, absent Congressional action.

Sen Wicker Urges Administration to Promote Streamlined Permitting, Approval Processes to Expedite Broadband Deployment

In a letter on broadband deployment to Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor to President Joseph Biden for Infrastructure Coordination, Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) urged the Administration to address challenges surrounding access to rights of way and poles, historic and environmental reviews, and approval of a variety of applications and permits. A streamlined permitting and approval process would certainly expedite deployment of broadband.

Republican Senators Raise Concerns Over New Treasury Broadband Rule

In a letter to Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, 11 Republican senators raised concerns regarding the recently-announced final rule for broadband infrastructure funding through the Coronavirus State and Local Recovery Funds. We are profoundly disappointed that Treasury’s final rule lacks the proper guidance and constraints needed to ensure that federal funds are used efficiently and for their intended purpose.

Sen Wicker Urges FCC and NTIA to Strengthen Coordination on Spectrum Policy

Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent a letter urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to work cooperatively to resolve spectrum policy issues and update the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on spectrum coordination, which has not been updated since 2003. "With your recent confirmations by the Senate, it is now time to take steps toward improving the cooperation and collaboration between your agencies that is essential to spectrum management and the future of US spectrum policy," says Thune.

Republican Commerce Committee Leaders Seek Information About FCC's Response to EBB 'Fraud and Abuse'

Reps Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Bob Latta (R-OH), along with Sens Roger Wicker (R-MS) and John Thune (R-SD) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel seeking information about the agency’s response after the FCC Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that broadband providers have been fraudulently enrolling households in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. The providers falsely claimed that certain customers’ households had children attending schools participating in the National School Lunch Program’s Community Eligibility Provisio

Sens Wicker and Thune Urge FCC to Move Quickly in RDOF Application Review

Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Broadband Subcommittee Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD) sent a letter to Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to request a status update on the Federal Communications Commission's long-form application review process for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. The auction awarded $9.2 billion over ten years to over 300 bidders to deploy high-speed broadband to over 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses in 49 states.