February 5, 2020
Contact: Zach Cikanek
Encourages Full Commission to Adopt the Notice which will Enhance Broadband Deployment in Rural America
Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) Executive Director Richard T. Cullen released the following statement in response to Chairman Pai’s announcement that he will be circulating the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to TV white spaces for a vote at the Commission’s February meeting.
“We applaud Chairman Pai for his leadership on this rulemaking which can help to unleash the full potential of TV white space technology as a critical tool to help bridge the digital divide,” Cullen said. “We encourage the full Commission to adopt this Notice at its next open meeting on February 28 and move swiftly to adopt rules in 2020 clearing regulatory barriers to innovation and maximize available spectrum resources to help close the broadband gap.”
“By continuing to support a hybrid network approach, that leverages traditional technologies like fiber alongside innovative solutions, we can reduce the cost of bridging the digital divide by as much as 80 percent,” Cullen continued. “Reducing costs and increasing the pace of deployments are critical for the millions of Americans stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide.”
“An all-of-the-above approach that clears regulatory barriers to innovation can help more farmers realize the promise of precision agriculture tools, help more seniors and patients take advantage of telemedicine solutions, reduce the impact of the homework gap that leaves too many rural students behind and increase economic opportunity in thousands of communities,” Cullen added. “The commissioners must seize the opportunity to help deliver broadband to unserved Americans by adopting the rulemaking later this month.”
CAN is a coalition of more than 200 members, including leading innovators, national and state-based organizations, rural advocates and concerned citizens committed to taking action to completely eliminate the digital divide in rural America.
The coalition has been a leading advocate for a NPRM to clear outstanding regulatory hurdles to TV white space technology. In June 2019, CAN led a comment filing, co-signed by 25 additional organization, in support of a petition for the NPRM. In December 2019, CAN followed-up on its comments to the FCC with a letter co-signed by 18 organizations urging the commission to swiftly take-up this rulemaking.