E&C Advances Seven Bills to Close the Digital Divide and Improve American Leadership in Wireless Communications
In a Full Committee markup today, the Energy and Commerce Committee passed solutions that will streamline broadband permitting to expedite deployment and reauthorize the Federal Communications Commission’s Spectrum Auction Authority.
Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on ensuring all Americans have access to reliable broadband services:
ON CLOSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
“High-speed broadband is an important part of our economy, yet many Americans, including in Eastern Washington, do not have access to reliable broadband.
“In order to deploy broadband, providers need to go through burdensome permitting processes at the federal, state, and local level and the time to receive approval on a permit can range from several months to several years.
“Our legislation would cut the red tape and ensure that this money can reach rural, unserved Americans quickly.”
“The Spectrum Auction Reauthorization Act would extend spectrum auction authority, make important changes to existing spectrum auction processes, and direct spectrum auction proceeds to fund critical programs.
“This bill would promote our national security by providing $3.08 billion for our small communications providers to remove Huawei and ZTE from their networks.
“It would authorize and fund Next Generation 9-1-1 technology to help our public safety officers and make sure Americans can reach emergency responders when they need it most.
“Most importantly, this bill is a product of long bipartisan, bicameral negotiations, and I urge my colleagues to vote yes.”
Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH):
“The permitting bills we are considering today are an important step in ensuring that every American has access to high-speed broadband.
“Since 2020, Congress has dedicated a record amount of money to support broadband deployment, culminating with Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. But spending is not enough.
“The infrastructure law was a missed opportunity to enact meaningful permitting reform that is necessary to quickly build new networks. Today, we have the opportunity to fix that mistake.”
Legislative Vote Summary:
- H.R. 3309, the Standard Fees to Expedite Evaluation and Streamlining Act or the Standard FEES Act, sponsored by Reps. Gary Palmer and Patrick Ryan, was reported favorably, without amendment, to the House by a vote of 50-0.
- H.R. 3293, the Expediting Federal Broadband Deployment Reviews Act, sponsored by Reps. Jeff Duncan and Angie Craig, was reported favorably, without amendment, to the House by a vote of 51-0.
- H.R. 3299, the Deploying Infrastructure with Greater Internet Transactions and Legacy Applications Act or DIGITAL Applications Act, sponsored by Reps. Kat Cammack and Doris Matsui, was reported favorably, without amendment, to the House by a vote of 51-0.
- H.R. 3283, the Facilitating the Deployment of Infrastructure with Greater Internet Transactions and Legacy Applications Act or Facilitating DIGITAL Applications Act, sponsored by Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Debbie Dingell, was reported favorably, without amendment, to the House by a vote of 51-0.
- H.R. 3343, the Federal Broadband Deployment Tracking Act, sponsored by Reps. August Pfluger and Darren Soto, was reported favorably, without amendment, to the House by a vote of 51-0.
- H.R. 3565, the Spectrum Auction Reauthorization Act of 2023, sponsored by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Frank Pallone, Jr., was reported favorably, as amended, to the House by a vote of 50-0.
- H.R. 3557, the American Broadband Deployment Act of 2023, sponsored by Rep. Buddy Carter, Nathaniel Moran, and Neal Dunn, was reported favorably, as amended, to the House by a vote of 27-23.