05.17.18

Daines Urges FCC Chairman to Remain Competitive in Wireless, Better Serve Rural Areas

U.S. SENATE — During a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, U.S. Senator Steve Daines urged Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to act swiftly to ensure the United States remains the leader in 5G wireless technology and to take steps to strengthen access to broadband in rural areas.

Mentioning the recent congressional trip he led to China, Daines warned Chairman Pai that he feared America was losing the race to 5G and questioned Chairman Pai on what actions the Commission is taking to ensure the United States remains the world leader is 5G technology.

Chairman Pai echoed Daines in saying that being a leader in 5G was a goal he shared and mentioned a list of steps the FCC was taking to keep America competitive.

FCC

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Daines also urged Chairman Pai not to overlook underserved communities and pressed the Chairman to prioritize federal funding for rural unserved areas, such as Montana. Chairman Pai affirmed to Daines that he agreed taxpayer dollars should be spent in those areas.

Rural Broadband

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Background:

On January 25, 2018, Daines introduced legislation to promote precision agriculture and rural broadband deployment.

On July 11, 2016, Daines joined a bipartisan effort urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update the Universal Service Fund’s (USF) Mobility Fund, which is aimed at providing broadband service to rural and underserved areas.

On January 22, 2016, Daines led five of his Senate colleagues in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify their inconsistent and arbitrary definitions of broadband, which could detrimentally impact rural Montanans.

On November 18, 2017, Daines urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to consider strict enforcement measures and increase transparency for the recently announced Connect America Fund funding.

 

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