25 Groups Join Connect Americans Now In Filing FCC Comments


June 11, 2019

American Farm Bureau Federation, American Telemedicine Association Among Groups Urging Commission To Open New Rulemaking To Support TV White Spaces Technology

Washington, D.C. – A group of 25 rural broadband advocates joined Connect Americans Now (CAN) in filing comments urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to open a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that proposes changes to help bridge the digital divide in rural America by facilitating the development and deployment of TV White Spaces (TVWS) technology.

“For most rural Americans, the digital divide persists because of the prohibitive cost of deploying traditional technologies to small customer bases in hard-to-reach areas,” the groups wrote in the comments. “Signals in TVWS frequencies travel further than those in other bands, and adopting this model is far more economical than attempting to extend fiber to small customer bases in remote and hard-to-reach areas.”

The comments support a Petition for Rulemaking filed by Microsoft – a fellow member of CAN – in May.

“The diverse array of organizations filing these comments, all of whom represent various agricultural and rural communities, demonstrates the urgency to bridge the digital divide among leaders throughout the country,” said CAN Executive Director Richard T. Cullen. “Moving forward with an FNPRM offers an opportunity to make noncontroversial regulatory changes that will advance the Commission’s goal of bridging the digital divide.”

The comments come after the Commission took the step of releasing an order that cleared some of the regulatory barriers limiting investments in TVWS technology in March. Opening a new FNPRM and resolving these outstanding regulatory issues would further support the development and deployment of TVWS technology to rural America.

Full List of Signers on the Comments:

  1. American Farm Bureau Federation
  2. American Telemedicine Association
  3. Connected Nation
  4. Consortium for School Networking
  5. Eastern Oregon Telecom
  6. Economic Development Association of North Dakota
  7. Gigabit Libraries Network
  8. League of Oregon Cities
  9. Livingston Mercantile
  10. Midwest Food Processors Association
  11. Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
  12. Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association
  13. Montana Business Leadership Council
  14. Montana Farm Bureau Federation
  15. Montana Policy Institute
  16. Montana Rural Education Association
  17. National Grange
  18. National Rural Education Association
  19. Nevada Farm Bureau Federation
  20. Next Century Cities
  21. Oregon Hop Growers Association
  22. Purdue Center for Regional Development
  23. South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation
  24. Washington Farm Bureau Federation
  25. Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance

Join our fight to bring broadband to all rural Americans. Tell Washington to take action to bridge the digital divide now!