WASHINGTON – A group of the nation’s leading technology associations sent a joint letter to Congressional leadership urging the passage of two crucial pieces of legislation that will help connect families in unserved areas to high-speed broadband internet.
“Nearly two trillion dollars in private investment over the past generation has made broadband service available in 95% of American communities. But gaps remain in parts of rural America, and many of TECNA’s member councils have been working closely with government and business leaders developing plans to help bring broadband infrastructure to unserved communities,” said Ryan Weber, Chair of TECNA and President and CEO of the KC Tech Council. “Over the past few months, the Coronavirus pandemic has further highlighted the importance of broadband access for all Americans. We must make internet connectivity a top priority.”
“We are grateful for these efforts in Congress to speed broadband deployment and encourage greater competition in federal broadband programs. We urge Congress to act quickly to pass these important bills,” continued Weber.
The Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Development Act (H.R. 7160), was introduced by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.); and the bipartisan Rural Broadband Acceleration Act (H.R. 7022, S.4201) was introduced by U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Both will take critical steps to speed rural deployment of broadband.
The Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Development Act would expedite broadband deployment by cutting outdated, exclusionary regulations. Written two decades ago in the days of dial-up modems, these regulations now invite abuse, slow deployment and discourage competition.
The Rural Broadband Acceleration Act would accelerate the deployment of gigabit tier networks in the upcoming $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) for builders starting construction within six months of receiving funding. And it sets a bold goal of providing broadband service to target communities within a year. This could quickly move a number of shovel ready projects into full production. This bill recognizes the urgency of closing broadband deployment gaps: the stakes are too high to wait any longer.
The letter was signed by the leaders of the following associations:
Arizona Technology Council (AZTC)
California Technology Council (CTC)
Tech San Diego
Colorado Technology Association (CTA)
Connecticut Technology Council (CTC)
Florida Technology Council
Palm Beach Tech Association
Tamp Bay Tech
Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)
Computer Measurement Group (CMG)
Idaho Tech Council (ITC)
Illinois Technology Association (ITA)
Indiana Technology & Innovation Association
Technology Association of Iowa (TAI)
KC Tech Council
Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky (TALK)
KC Tech Council
Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC)
Maryland Tech Council (MTC)
Montana High-Tech Business Alliance
Nevada Technology Association
NH Tech Alliance
New Jersey Tech Council (NJTC)
New Mexico Technology Council (NMTC)
North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH)
Technology Council of North Dakota
Ohio IT Association
Technology Association of Oregon (TAO)
Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT)
Pittsburgh Technology Council
Tech Council of Central Pennsylvania
Tech Association of South Carolina
Chattanooga Technology Council
Greater Nashville Technology Council
Knoxville Technology Council
Utah Technology Council
Northern Virginia Technology Council
Roanoake-Blacksburg Technology Council
Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA)
Wisconsin Technology Council
A copy of the letter sent to Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, House Minority Leader McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Schumer can be found here.
About the Technology Councils of North America
The Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) represents approximately 60 IT and Technology trade organizations that, in turn, represent more than 22,000 technology-related companies in North America. TECNA serves its members and the industry through its strong peer-to-peer network and its regional initiatives to raise the visibility and viability of the technology industry. This is accomplished by empowering regional technology organizations and serving as their collective voice in growing the North American technology economy. More information on TECNA can be found at: www.tecna.org or @techcouncils on Twitter.