Congressional hearing in Bakersfield (CA) focuses on rural broadband debate

A delegation of US Congress members part of the Congressional Western Caucus and House Commerce Committee was in Bakersfield (CA) on May 10. At a nearly two-hour field hearing, Central Valley farming representatives joined rural internet service providers in highlighting the importance of high-speed connectivity to precision agriculture as well as poor communities reliant on computers for health care, education and remote work. While there was little question how vital internet service has become to rural areas, the underlying question was what role the government should have in not only helping pay for high-speed access but also what should be done to cut red tape that can slow broadband investments and increase costs to consumers. The hearing's host, Rep David Valadao (R-CA), expressed his support for renewing provisions of the Affordable Connectivity Program, but emphasized protections should be put in place to ensure the measure's reauthorization targets those that need it most and doesn't lead to overbuilding.

Congressional hearing in Bakersfield focuses on rural broadband debate U.S. Congress members meet in Bakersfield, debate expansion of internet access to rural communities Communications and Technology Subcommittee Field Hearing: "Perspectives from the Fields: The State of Rural Broadband in America Rep. Weber Delivers Opening Remarks at Bakersfield Hearing on Enhancing Rural Broadband