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Eshoo Urges FCC Chairman to Include More Local Government Input on Broadband Deployment

November 7th, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C— Today, Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) sent a letter with 13 other members to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to expand representation of state and local government officials on his Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).

The FCC’s BDAC was formed to bring together representatives from local governments, community groups, the communications industry and consumers on how to rapidly deploy high-speed Internet access. However, as the board currently stands, more than three out of four seats are filled by representatives from the biggest wireless and cable companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Sprint, according to a report from the Center for Public Integrity. The report also found that of the numerous local government representatives that applied to join the BDAC, only one was originally selected to serve on the 30-member committee, which constitutes only 10% of voting membership.

Eshoo’s letter urges the Chairman to expand representation of state and local government officials on the BDAC to adequately represent the broad array of voices whose input is necessary to develop inclusive solutions.

“Broadband internet access is an essential service that American consumers and communities need in order to compete and fully participate in the 21st century. As Members of Congress who are committed to enacting policies that enhance broadband internet access across the U.S., we were encouraged by your decision in January to form the BDAC to advise the Commission on current regulatory barriers impeding the deployment of broadband,” the members wrote.

“However, we are concerned that the composition of the 30-member BDAC relies too heavily on the input of industry voices and less on public officials who are responsible for protecting the public interest and who understand the issues and perspectives of local communities nationwide,” the members continued.

The full text of the letter it attached.

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