House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Holds Hearing on Telecom Bills

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As more bipartisan tech-focused bills gain traction in Congress, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a legislative hearing focusing on the security and innovation behind several telecommunications bills. Expert witnesses accompanied lawmakers during the May 24 hearing on the importance of bridging the digital divide with widespread broadband access nationwide. There were five items of pending legislation in question, including the Simplifying Management, Reallocation, and Transfer of Spectrum (SMART) Act and the Extending America's Spectrum Auction Leadership Act of 2022. While equitable broadband access was a recurring point of discussion during the hearing, several witnesses discussed the critical role broadband plays in public health and safety. Thomas Kadri, a law professor at the University of Georgia, highlighted the high volume of domestic abuse reports that hinge on connectivity. Fellow witness Mark Gibson, a regulatory officer with OnGo Alliance, added that high speed internet and 5G broadband access helped keep rural Americans safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Gibson specifically referenced the importance of his organization’s Citizen Broadband Radio Service, or CBRS, deploying across the country, and used CBRS deployment as an example of why the subcommittee should support the SMART Act.

House Subcommittee Hearing Examines Human Side of Telecom Bills Rep Pallone Opening Remarks at Legislative Hearing on Communications Bills to Connect and Protect America