Taking on barriers to rural broadband expansion – that’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Rural lawmakers are ramping up congressional oversight of federal broadband expansion efforts. In response, rural broadband advocates, farm groups, and telecom experts are speaking up on overcoming key barriers to successfully closing the digital divide. Director of innovation policy for the International Center for Law and Economics, Kristian Stout says there are several steps government agencies can take to ensure efficient use of the funds to close the digital divide.
“The first thing to say about this is that, by and large, private providers have done a great job of reaching the United States. We’re one of the most connected countries in the world. Congress has direct authority over some entities that own these poles that can explode cost. Something like the Tennessee Valley Authority, for instance,” he said. “Entities like it that are under direct congressional control are obligated to reply to these requests in a timely manner and do so in a way that doesn’t try to unfairly shift costs on the private providers.”
But, he said there’s confusion over the control of the funds and some of the authority under the FCC.
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National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.
Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.