In Case You Missed It: Rep. LaMalfa's Wireless Broadband Streamlining Amendment Passes House Floor

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Washington, May 21, 2018 | comments
Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Western Caucus Member Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at CTIA Kelly Cole, and President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association Jonathan Adelstein released the following statements after Congressman LaMalfa's amendment to H.R. 2 - which would streamline the permitting process for rural broadband infrastructure - passed the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by unanimous voice vote.
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For Immediate Release

Date: May 21, 2018

Contact: Tanner Hanson

Tanner.Hanson@mail.house.gov



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Western Caucus Member Doug LaMalfa (CA-01)Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at CTIA Kelly Cole, and President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association Jonathan Adelstein released the following statements after Congressman LaMalfa's amendment to H.R. 2 - which would streamline the permitting process for rural broadband infrastructure - passed the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by unanimous voice vote: 

Congressman Doug LaMalfa said: “Broadband coverage in rural areas has been a challenge for quite some time. As providers build newer infrastructure to support 5G services, it will require more antennas spaced more closely together. While wireless providers generally locate antennas and facilities on private property, they also require access to Federal land to ensure more complete coverage, including for providing emergency services. Unfortunately, the process for securing access to federal land and property has been problematic – providers have faced long delays and uncertain procedures. My bipartisan amendment aims to streamline this process and help bring better broadband coverage to Rural America, and I thank my colleagues for the unanimous support.”

Chairman Paul Gosar said: “Many families in the West still lack basic broadband. Streamlining the bureaucratic process that is hampering broadband infrastructure development will create jobs, improve education and grow our economy. I applaud Rep. LaMalfa for his leadership and tireless efforts to close the broadband availability gap.”

Kelly Cole, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at CTIA, said: “We support Congressman LaMalfa’s amendment to the House Farm Bill. Modernizing outdated deployment rules for federal lands will help spur the build out of faster 5G wireless networks to meet rising connectivity demands from consumers and business, particularly in rural communities.”

Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association, called the amendment: “...an important step toward streamlining and expediting wireless broadband siting on federal property controlled by the Forest Service” He continued, “For decades, infrastructure developers have found it extremely difficult to use these lands to deploy wireless broadband facilities, which has an especially negative impact in or near rural communities. Your amendment will provide a streamlined and expedited regulatory framework that is necessary to utilize federal lands for broadband infrastructure deployment and improve wireless broadband service in Rural America.”


Background:

On Thursday, May 17, 2018, Congressman LaMalfa's Amendment #31 to H.R. 2, colloquially known as the Farm Bill, was agreed to by voice vote on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

If made law, the amendment would streamline and expedite the regulatory framework necessary to utilize federal lands for broadband infrastructure deployment and improve broadband coverage in Rural America. 

The purposes of this amendment are in keeping with President Trump's recognition that arbitrary and duplicative permitting delays are responsible for important projects by government and private entities alike being subject to unprecedented delays and cancellations.

In order to stay on-pace with other advanced Western economies, it is incumbent on our federal government to strategically pinpoint and removing unnecessary barriers to development and growth. Rep. LaMalfa's amendment is part and parcel of this aim - an effort that will require Congressional and Executive action alike before it is completed.

See the text of Rep. LaMalfa's amendment here. A press release by Congressman LaMalfa on the amendment's passage can be found here

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Amendment Sponsors & Cosponsors (4):

Paul Gosar, Doug LaMalfa, Steve Pearce, Jason Smith 

Endorsed by:
American Farm Bureau Federation, CTIA, The Internet & Television Association (NCTA), National Stone Sand and Gravel Association, Alaska Miners Association, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Arizona Pork Council, AZ BASS Nation, The Bass Federation-AZ, Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee, Colorado Pork Producers Council, SRT Outdoors, Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc., Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen, Apache County Supervisor Doyel Shamley

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