Press Release

Loebsack, Kinzinger Lead Bipartisan Effort to Increase Rural Communities’ Access to Wireless Broadband

Bill would provide incentives for wireless carriers to make unused spectrum available for use by rural and smaller carriers in order to expand wireless coverage in rural communities

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Washington, July 16, 2015 | Joe Hand (202-225-6576) | comments
Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) today introduced the bipartisan Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act. This bill would provide incentives for wireless carriers to lease unused spectrum to rural or smaller carriers in order to expand wireless coverage in rural communities. Both Congressmen serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee which oversees the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“The future of economic development in Iowa and across the country depends, in large part, on access to the internet and mobility,” said Congressman Loebsack. “I have met with many small businesses, farmers, and rural telecommunication companies who have stressed the importance of mobile internet access in rural areas. I am pleased to work with Rep. Kinzinger to introduce this legislation that will increase access to wireless broadband to help boost economic development, education opportunities and job growth in rural areas.”

“The Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act promotes better utilization of spectrum to help rural America reap the full benefits of communications technology,” said Congressman Kinzinger. “From small businesses trying to stay competitive in a global market or remote health clinics working to deliver expert telemedicine to underserved populations, expanding wireless coverage will help rural communities overcome the challenges they face. I am glad we could work together on this important legislation that will boost economic development in the 16th District as well as across the country.”

The Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act would direct the 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.

Click here for the text of the Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act.
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