U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD), and 46 of their colleagues urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promote the deployment of sustainable broadband networks as the FCC considers adopting new rules in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) proceeding. The RDOF will award high-cost Universal Service Fund (USF) support to deploy broadband service in rural areas. In a letter, the senators called on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to ensure that broadband networks built in rural areas using these funds can keep up with future demands for speed and capacity and to hold support recipients accountable for providing adequate broadband service to consumers.
“If our rural communities are to survive and flourish, our rural constituents need access to services that are on par with those in urban areas. By contrast, it would be an inefficient use of resources to promote services that cannot keep pace with consumer demand and the evolution of broadband in urban areas,” the senators wrote.
“As the FCC moves forward to adopt new rules in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund proceeding, we urge you to promote the deployment of networks that will be sustainable even as new advancements are made and are capable of delivering the best level of broadband access for the available USF budget for many years to come.”
In addition to Klobuchar and Thune, the letter was signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), John Barrasso (R-WY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Angus King (I-ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Patty Murray (D-WA), David Perdue (R-GA), Gary Peters (D-MI), James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Tillis (R-NC), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Todd Young (R-IN).
The full text of the letter can be found HERE