Senators question impact of National Broadband Plan on rural America
By Melissa Coon
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Washington, June 16 – Twenty-two U.S. Senators expressed their concern over the impact of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan on rural America in a recent letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
The senators noted that Congress directed the FCC to conduct “an analysis of the most effective and efficient mechanisms for ensuring broadband access by all people of the United States” and acknowledged their goal to ensure that every American is able to experience these benefits.
However, the senators said they feared that some of the proposals in the NBP would have the potential to set the United States on a course towards a greater digital divide between urban and rural areas. They said the impact would bring about two very different goals for rural regions and more densely populated areas.
“Establishing such a low threshold for rural residents and businesses relegates them to second class broadband capacity,” the senators wrote. “It hinders their ability to share in the transformative vision for broadband outlined in the NBP.”
The senators urged Genachowski to consider these concerns as he implemented the plan’s recommendations and took the appropriate steps to ensure all Americans play a role in, and benefit from, the promise of broadband.
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