Connect Americans Now (CAN) Joined by 35 Organizations in Support of FCC Rulemaking to Help Bridge the Digital Divide

Press Release
May 4, 2020
Contact: Jon Conradi
[email protected]

Groups Including American Telemedicine Association, National Grange, Student Veterans of America Back Plan to Clear Regulatory Barriers to TV White Space

Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) filed comments Monday with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), co-signed by 35 organizations, in support of updated TV white space (TVWS) rules to unleash the full potential of the technology to help bridge the digital divide. The FCC unanimously adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on TV white space on February 28 to address five issues that will expand the pace, scale and cost-effectiveness of hybrid-network broadband deployments in rural areas.

“We write to commend the Commission for its ongoing commitment to expanding broadband connectivity in unserved and underserved rural communities and to thank the Commission for continuing to deliver on this commitment by adopting the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on TV white spaces (TVWS) put forward by Chairman Pai,” the groups wrote. “An all-of-the-above approach that clears regulatory barriers to innovation and maximizes spectrum resources will 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.”

“Updated TVWS rules will enhance the pace, scale and cost-effectiveness of hybrid network broadband deployments in rural areas in several important ways,” the letter continues. “Specifically, new rules will permit higher transmit power and higher antennas for fixed white space devices in rural areas, permit higher power mobile operations within geofenced areas and allow for the development of new Internet of Things-based services. Revised rules will also permit higher power operations in the first adjacent channel to broadcasters and stipulate mechanisms to prevent interference with existing broadcasters while maximizing the use of TVWS technology for broadband deployments.”

“This rulemaking will unleash the full potential of TV white space technology as a critical tool to help bridge the digital divide,” the letter says. “We applaud Chairman Pai for his leadership on this rulemaking and respectfully encourage the Commission to move promptly to implement new rules in 2020 in order to swiftly clear regulatory barriers to TVWS and maximize available spectrum resources to eliminate the rural broadband gap.”

Read the full comment letter HERE.

Full list of co-signers on the CAN comment letter:

American Telemedicine Association 

Bridge Grange #730

Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce

City of Athena, Oregon

Connected Nation

Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association

Eastern Oregon Telecom

Economic Development Association of North Dakota

Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation

National Grange

National Veteran Small Business Coalition

Nevada Farm Bureau Federation

North Wasco County People’s Utility District

Northwoods Association of Realtors


Oregon Association of Nurseries

Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

Oregon Dairy Farmers Association

Oregon Economic Development Association

Oregon Hop Growers Association

Oregon State Grange

Oregon Water Resources Congress

Perdue University Center for Regional Development

Spiral Communications

South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation

Student Veterans of America

Technology Association of Oregon 

Teleco Systems

Telehealth Alliance of Oregon

Washington Farm Bureau Federation

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC)

Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance

Wisconsin Technology Council

Connect Americans Now is a coalition of more than 270 members, including leading innovators, broadband and spectrum advocates, champions for rural communities, voices in agriculture, telehealth organizations, education and veterans’ groups and more, committed to completely eliminating the digital divide in rural America.

The coalition has been a leading advocate for an NPRM to clear outstanding regulatory hurdles to TV white space technology. 

Read CAN’s statement commending the FCC for unanimously adopting the TVWS NPRM on February 28 HERE.

Read CAN’s statement applauding Chairman Pai for introducing the NPRM on TVWS on February 5 HERE.

Read more on the broad-based support for the NPRM after it was introduced HERE.

Read CAN’s comment filing on a petition for the NPRM filed with the FCC in June 2019 HERE.

Read CAN’s letter encouraging FCC action on a TVWS NPRM in December 2019 HERE.

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