Here’s the latest from Senator Franken…
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said today that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has agreed to his request to give people in Minnesota and across the country additional time to comment on whether slower-speed mobile broadband can serve as a substitute for—rather than a complement to–higher-speed fixed broadband.
Sen. Franken said the FCC decision to extend the comment period, which now ends on October 6, 2017, comes after he and 11 of his colleagues pushed the commission to allow more time for Americans to weigh in.
Under current policy, the FCC provides that Americans need access to both mobile and fixed broadband services. While mobile technology may one day support the same functions as fixed broadband service, that is not the case today. After the FCC signaled potential changes that could deem mobile only service sufficient for communities across the nation, Sen. Franken and his colleagues raised concerns over the potential impact the change could have on millions of Americans’ broadband access, and pressed the FCC for more time to allow Americans to weigh in on the proceeding.
“We need to make sure all Americans—including those in rural, tribal, and low income communities have access to reliable and affordable broadband.” said Sen. Franken “While I have serious concerns about the FCC considering at this time whether mobile broadband service at lower speeds could supplant, rather than supplement, fixed broadband services—and conclude that Americans’ broadband needs are being met—I’m glad that people in Minnesota and across our nation will have more time to make their voices heard.”
You can read more about the FCC’s extended comment period here.
Or get a little more info from Digital News Daily…
Mobile broadband is no substitute for wireline service, a group of Democratic lawmakers say in recent comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission.
“While we recognize and welcome the possibility that technology may one day evolve to a point where mobile broadband options could be deemed equivalent to fixed broadband services, that is not the case today,” Senators Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and 11 others write.
They add that a decision to consider mobile broadband an acceptable substitute for wireline service would mark a “striking change in policy” that would particularly hurt people in rural and low-income areas.