I want to thank Brent Christensen for permission to repost an article from the recent MTA (Minnesota Telecom Alliance) New Bytes…
On September 11, after consulting with the MTA and other stakeholders, Senator Amy Klobuchar cosponsored bipartisan legislation to increase wireless broadband access in rural communities. The bill, introduced by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), would provide incentives for wireless carriers to lease unused spectrum to rural or smaller carriers in order to expand wireless coverage in rural areas.
“In today’s 21st century economy, access to high-speed Internet is not just a benefit for businesses, students and families – it is essential,” Klobuchar said. “This bill will help expand high-quality, wireless communications to rural areas, giving local businesses the ability to connect to global markets and strengthening the rural communities that are so vital to Minnesota’s economy.”
“The increasing importance of wireless communications and broadband has a direct correlation to our nation’s competitiveness, economy, and national security,” said Senator Snowe. “The main goal of this legislation is to provide a catalyst to expand next generation wireless broadband service to rural areas, which will mean more reliable service, more innovation, and more choice to consumers and businesses. I am pleased this bipartisan legislation has Sen. Klobuchar’s support and will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure consumers in rural areas of Maine and the nation have the access to the broadband services they require to succeed.”
The Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a program that would provide a 3-year extension of the spectrum license to wireless carriers that lease unused spectrum to rural and smaller carriers, encouraging collaboration between companies to bridge service gaps in rural areas.