What They Are Saying: Broad-Base of Support for FCC Action to Support Rural Broadband Innovation, Help Bridge Digital Divide

Wide-Array of Voices Applaud Chairman Pai and Commission for Adoption of TV White Space Rulemaking

On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously voted to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to clear regulatory barriers to TV white space (TVWS) technology as a critical tool to help eliminate the digital divide. The rulemaking, advanced by Chairman Ajit Pai, will help maximize spectrum resources to close the broadband gap, as well as enhance the scale and pace of broadband deployments in rural America.

Support for Chairman Pai and the FCC’s leadership on this issue has poured in from a broad-base of voices committed to eliminating the digital divide — many who are also encouraging the Commission to move swiftly to finalize and implement new rules before the end of 2020.

Support for the TVWS rulemaking includes voices for American farmers and rural communities, teachers and education advocates, advocates for telehealth and health care innovation, advocates for broadband connectivity and spectrum innovation, voices for small business and American consumers, as well as members of Congress, leading American innovators and industries impacted by the digital divide.

Here are what advocates for agricultural producers, farmers and rural communities are saying:

American Farm Bureau Federation:

Rural broadband is essential to modern agriculture, the farmers and ranchers who grow our food and the quality of life for rural Americans. This is an important step in bridging the digital divide. (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Midwest Food Products Association:

“We commend Chairman Pai and the FCC for adopting the TV white space rule-making notice to support broadband innovation. Food manufacturers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois employ many people in rural markets. However, global economic forces and technological advances have resulted in changes to manufacturing that have disproportionately affected rural areas in these states. Swift finalization and implementation of these rules will greatly aid these communities.”(Midwest Food Products Association, Food Manufacturers Commend FCC Action to Expand Connectivity for Rural Americans, 2/28/20)

National Grange:

We commend Chairman @AjitPaiFCC and the @FCC for voting today to clear regulatory barriers to TV white space technology as a key tool to help eliminate the #digitaldivide. We encourage the Commission to finalize and enact these new rules in 2020. (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Here are what education advocates and teachers are saying:

Consortium For School Networking (CoSN):

Policies that support broadband innovation & maximize resources to bridge the #digitaldivide are critical to America’s rural communities. We applaud @AjitPaiFCC & @FCC for leading to clear regulatory hurdles to TV white space. docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-362748A1.pdf @keithkrueger @s_bearden (Twitter, 2/28/20)

National Rural Education Association:

BREAKING NEWS: The @FCC took a positive step today to reduce costs and expand the scale of rural broadband deployments, which are critical for the millions of rural Americans who are stuck behind the #digitaldivide. #TVWS (Twitter, 2/28/20

Montana Rural Education Association:

The @FCC voted today and adopted a rule-making procedure that creates the potential to bring cost-effective hybrid network broadband deployments in rural areas of Montana such as TV white space technology. (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Here are what advocates for telehealth and health care innovation are saying:

American Telemedicine Association:

#BreakingNews: Today the @FCC acted to enhance the pace &cost-effectiveness of broadband deployments in #ruralamerica by addressing regulatory barriers to #TVWS. We commend @AjitPaiFCC for supporting this rulemaking and broadband innovation. #ruralhealth http://bit.ly/3cjpin2 (Twitter, 2/28/20)


It’s going to take innovation to close the #digitaldivide. We applaud the @FCC and @AjitPaiFCC for adopting and encouraging use of alternative methods to deliver connectivity to rural communities. (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Here are what advocates for rural broadband and spectrum innovation are saying:

Connect Americans Now:

“We applaud Chairman Pai and the members of the Commission for taking this important step to unleash the full potential of TV white space technology as a critical tool to help bridge the digital divide,” Cullen said. “Chairman Pai and the FCC should be commended for their leadership in continuing to support broadband innovation and policies to maximize spectrum resources to expand hybrid network deployments in rural areas.” (Connect Americans Now, Connect Americans Now (CAN) Applauds FCC For Adoption of Rulemaking to Help Bridge the Digital Divide, 2/28/20)

Connected Nation:

We commend @AjitPaiFCC and the @FCC for voting last week to clear regulatory barriers to TV white space tech as a tool to help eliminate the #digitaldivide. #ConnectedNation believes it takes innovative solutions like these to connect all people. (Twitter, 3/02/20)

Dynamic Spectrum Alliance:

#GoodNews, today the @FCC proposed changes to the #TVWS rules, this will improve broadband coverage that would benefit American consumers in rural and underserved areas. (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Next Century Cities:

Thanks to @FCC for adopting the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on TV white space technology today. Maximizing spectrum resources will help improve #ruralbroadband, which is great news for all communities. #broadbandforall #digitalopportunities (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB):

“The SHLB Coalition is very pleased that the Commission unanimously proposed new rule changes to increase the value of the TV White Spaces spectrum. Anchor institutions need every tool in the digital toolbox to close the homework gap and meet the broadband needs of their communities.” (SHLB, SHLB Applauds FCC’s TV White Space Rulemaking, 2/28/20)

WiFi Forward:

Spectrum is a finite resource and it’s critical we use innovative policies, technologies and approaches to get the most out of our airwaves… Today, the FCC took major steps forward in spectrum efficiency, putting our unused TV airwaves… These forward-leaning approaches promise to connect schools, farms, hospitals and homes in unconnected communities nationwide. We commend the Commission for its work on these issues. (WiFi Forward, WiFi Forward Statement on FCC’s Spectrum Efficiency Strategy, 2/28/20)

Here are what American innovators and voices in technology are saying:

ACT: The App Association:

“Time and time again our members have expressed that they want to build their companies outside of traditional tech hubs, but broadband access remains a pain point. Today’s vote enables an efficient use of spectrum and forward-looking investments that will have meaningful outcomes for our small business members and the consumers they serve… Under the leadership of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the Commission is making significant strides in realizing a connected future for all Americans no matter where they live.” (ACT: The App Association, ACT | The App Association Commends FCC on Vote in Support of Greater Rural Broadband Deployment, 2/28/20)

Consumer Technology Association:

“Today’s FCC decision proposing to leverage TV white spaces for broadband access is a critical step toward ensuring connectivity for all communities. This is an innovative solution supported in the Consumer Technology Association’s latest best-selling book, Ninja Future: Secrets to Success in the New World of Innovation. As I wrote in Ninja Future, ‘Opening this spectrum for broadband use can bring the benefits and opportunities of broadband to rural citizens.’ This cost-effective, reliable solution will help innovation flourish in every corner of our country. I thank FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for his dedicated work on this important issue.” (Consumer Technology Association, CTA Applauds FCC Decision to Use TV White Spaces for Broadband Access, 2/28/20)

Microsoft President Brad Smith:

I’m pleased to see @AjitPaiFCC & @FCC adopting the changes needed to TV White Space rules that will help close the digital divide in rural America. #Airband (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Pelican Institute for Public Policy:

The FCC just voted on two important proposals to connect rural Louisianans to affordable broadband internet. Learn more about how 5G and TV white space can close the digital divide in Louisiana! #lalege #lagov (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Voices for Innovation:

We applaud @ajitpaifcc and the @FCC for adopting a #TVWS rulemaking procedure today that demonstrates a commitment to closing the broadband gap in America #airband (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Here are what voices representing American small businesses and consumers are saying:

American Consumer Institute:

This is a big step for rural #broadband consumers and market competition. (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Northwoods Realtors:

We commend Chairman @ajitpaifcc and the @FCC for adopting the TV white space NPRM to support broadband innovation. Swift finalization and implementation of these rules will help America’s farmers, students, patients and communities. (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council:

SBE Council & #smallbiz America commends @ajitpaifcc and the @FCC’s dedication to eliminating the #digitaldivide. Today’s vote by the @FCC will help clear regulatory barriers to broadband innovation and enhance the pace and scale of #rural deployments for entrepreneurs! #airband (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Here are what members of Congress are saying:

Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-09):

TV white spaces offer promise for expanding affordable broadband access in rural areas. I applaud the FCC’s commitment to bridging the #digitaldivide by moving to update white space rules. (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Congressman Denver Riggleman (VA-05):

TV white spaces are an important tool for expanding access to broadband in rural areas. This change in the @FCC’s rules for White Space devices will help people in #VA05 get the broadband access they need to compete in the modern economy. (Twitter, 2/28/20)

Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02):

Rural Ohioans too often do not have adequate access to broadband in their areas. Yesterday’s @FCC’s vote on TV white space technology is a positive step toward delivering broadband solutions and bridging the digital divide for those in rural Ohio. (Twitter, 2/29/20)

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