Klobuchar successfully included her provisions to help meet rural spectrum needs and streamline broadband infrastructure deployment into the Mobile Now Act
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today announced that her bipartisan measures to improve 21st century communications have passed the Senate. Klobuchar successfully included her provisions to help meet rural spectrum needs and streamline broadband infrastructure deployment into the Mobile Now Act.
“Today you don’t need to live off a major highway or in a bustling city center to find a good job, start a business, or get a quality education. But you do need a high-speed internet connection,” Klobuchar said. “These bipartisan measures reduce the costs of building broadband infrastructure and help expand wireless coverage in our rural communities.”
Klobuchar’s bipartisan provisions would:
- Cut red tape by ensuring that states coordinate highway construction projects with broadband providers so that broadband infrastructure can be installed at the same time—known as “dig once.”
- Direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct a rulemaking on opportunities for large carriers to lease unused spectrum to rural and smaller carriers and encouraging collaboration between companies to bridge service gaps in rural areas.
- Streamline the broadband deployment process on federal land to boost broadband infrastructure investments in rural communities located near federal land.
As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Klobuchar has been a leader in pushing to expand and improve communications infrastructure in rural areas. She is a co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus. In May, Klobuchar and Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the bipartisan Rural Wireless Access Act of 2017 to expand broadband deployment using accurate coverage maps. In April, Klobuchar and Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) led a bipartisan group of 56 senators in urging the FCC to continue advancing broadband deployment in rural communities. Earlier this year, Klobuchar and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced legislation to measure the economic impact of broadband on the U.S. economy. Klobuchar, Capito, Senators Angus King (I-ME), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and John Boozman (R-AR) also led 48 senators in urging the Administration to include broadband in any infrastructure initiative.
In 2013, Klobuchar introduced and passed a resolution through the Senate Commerce Committee urging the FCC to take action to solve the problems with the completion of calls in rural areas, after which the FCC took some preliminary regulatory and enforcement actions to curb the problem. At oversight hearings, she has also put repeated pressure on the FCC to ensure the agency continues to make rural call completion issues a priority.