50 Technology Councils Across the U.S. Urge Passage of Legislation To Expand Rural Broadband Access  

WASHINGTON - A group of the nation's leading technology associations sent a joint letter to Congressional leadership urging the passage of two crucial pieces of legislation that will help connect families in unserved areas to high-speed broadband internet.
 
"Nearly two trillion dollars in private investment over the past generation has made broadband service available in 95% of American communities. But gaps remain in parts of rural America, and many of TECNA's member councils have been working closely with government and business leaders developing plans to help bring broadband infrastructure to unserved communities," said Ryan Weber, Chair of TECNA and President and CEO of the KC Tech Council. "Over the past few months, the Coronavirus pandemic has further highlighted the importance of broadband access for all Americans. We must make internet connectivity a top priority."
 
"We are grateful for these efforts in Congress to speed broadband deployment and encourage greater competition in federal broadband programs. We urge Congress to act quickly to pass these important bills," continued Weber.
 
The Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Development Act (H.R. 7160), was introduced by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.); and the bipartisan Rural Broadband Acceleration Act (H.R. 7447, S.4201) was introduced by U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Both will take critical steps to speed rural deployment of broadband. 
 
The Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Development Act would expedite broadband deployment by cutting outdated, exclusionary regulations. Written two decades ago in the days of dial-up modems, these regulations now invite abuse, slow deployment and discourage competition. 
 
The Rural Broadband Acceleration Act would accelerate the deployment of gigabit tier networks in the upcoming $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) for builders starting construction within six months of receiving funding. And it sets a bold goal of providing broadband service to target communities within a year. This could quickly move a number of shovel ready projects into full production.  This bill recognizes the urgency of closing broadband deployment gaps: the stakes are too high to wait any longer.
 
The letter was signed by the leaders of the following associations: 
Alabama
Tech Birmingham
Arizona
Arizona Technology Council (AZTC)
California
California Technology Council (CTC)
Tech San Diego
Colorado
Colorado Technology Association (CTA)
Connecticut
Connecticut Technology Council (CTC)
Florida
Florida Technology Council
Palm Beach Tech Association
Tamp Bay Tech
TechLauderdale 
Georgia
Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)
Computer Measurement Group (CMG)
Idaho
Idaho Tech Council (ITC)
Illinois
Illinois Technology Association (ITA)
1871
Indiana
Indiana Technology & Innovation Association
TechPoint
Iowa
Technology Association of Iowa (TAI)
Kansas
FlagshipKansas.Tech
KC Tech Council
Kentucky
Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky (TALK)
Missouri
KC Tech Council
Massachusetts
Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC)
Maryland
Maryland Tech Council (MTC)
Minnesota
MnTech
Montana
Montana High-Tech Business Alliance
New Hampshire
NH Tech Alliance
New Jersey
New Jersey Tech Council (NJTC)
New York
Tech Rochester
Nevada
Nevada Technology Association
New Mexico
New Mexico Technology Council (NMTC)
North Carolina
North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH)
North Dakota
Technology Council of North Dakota
Ohio
GCP Tech
Ohio IT Association
Oregon
Technology Association of Oregon (TAO)
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT)
Pittsburgh Technology Council
Tech Council of Central Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Tech Collective
South Carolina
Tech Association of South Carolina
Tennessee
Chattanooga Technology Council
Greater Nashville Technology Council
Knoxville Technology Council
Texas
Tech Titans
Utah
Utah Technology Council
Virginia
Northern Virginia Technology Council
Roanoake-Blacksburg Technology Council
Washington
Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA)
Wisconsin
Wisconsin Technology Council
 
A copy of the letter sent to Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, House Minority Leader McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Schumer can be found here.