Loebsack Leads Call for “Dollars and Data” to Improve Rural Wireless Coverage
At a recent Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing, Congressman Dave Loebsack led the call for a direct investment in expanding both fixed and mobile broadband, especially in rural areas. He also called for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide more reliable data to map and target where additional broadband access is needed.
Click here to watch Dave’s full opening statement.
Text of Loebsack’s statement:
“Broadband is not a luxury for rural America. It’s survival. I think that everybody who’s here today understands that.
“Communities cannot thrive if they are left behind as the rest of the country moves forward.
“Investing in broadband creates jobs, and it helps communities grow.
“There are two critical things we need to connect these communities. Dollars and Data. We are talking about dollars, but we also need data.
“We need direct investment in fixed and mobile broadband, just like we invest in other types of infrastructure. And we need data.
“Right now, the data the FCC is using to determine where to invest in wireless shows that the entire state of Iowa, for example, is covered. Madam Chair, I would like to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a map that I have here of coverage of Iowa.
“As you can see folks, according to the FCC, all of Iowa gets 4G LTE coverage according to the FCC at the moment.
“Now I am constantly driving through my 24 counties to meet with constituents in Iowa, and I can tell you and they can tell you as well, this is not the reality. It’s just not a reality. We have dead spots, dropped calls, poor speeds and more in some areas.
“That is why I recently introduced the Rural Wireless Access Act, to improve these maps. We have to have good data, we have to have good maps. We have to get the data right so that we target resources to fix the problem. So data is absolutely critical folks, not just the money.
“Thank you, and I yield back.”
Click here for more information on Loebsack’s legislation, the Rural Wireless Access Act.
A significant digital divide remains between urban and rural America. Congressman Loebsack is a leader in working to close this divide by promoting broadband deployment throughout rural America. Loebsack serves on the Communications and Technology subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over telecommunications issues. He also serves as a co-chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus.