Schools Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition
Eliminating the educational priority for EBS would be disastrous for online learning, 5G deployment, and rural consumers. The best way to encourage 5G in rural markets is to award licenses to educational institutions that live and work in their communities and whose mission is to serve the needs of students. Deploying broadband via EBS is not rocket science – it has been successfully done in northern Michigan, rural Virginia, and even at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
The FCC’s proposal to adopt an overall cap on the USF is unfortunate, counter-productive and contrary to congressional intent. Congress directed the FCC to make ‘sufficient’ funding available to meet our nation’s universal service goals, not to prohibit spending that is necessary to reach those goals.
The 116th Congress has a golden opportunity to solve the digital divide, by including broadband funding in upcoming infrastructure legislation. President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and prospective Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have all said that investment in infrastructure is an area that they can agree on in 2019.
Here are a few principles that should guide Congress’ broadband policies: