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Johnson Reintroduces Broadband Legislation to Increase Efficient Deployment

Reliable broadband expansion and efficiency must go hand in hand.

Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 1056, the Wireless Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act as part of an Energy and Commerce rural broadband legislative push from House Republicans:

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans today released their comprehensive package to close the digital divide—the Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda, which includes 28 bills to turbocharge public and private investment by: promoting new and upgraded infrastructure deployments; boosting competition; streamlining permitting process; facilitating broadband deployment on federal lands; and, closing the digital divide in both rural and urban areas. This package includes Congressman Johnson’s H.R. 1056, the Wireless Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act.

“Today, I reintroduced the Wireless Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act, which would remove the requirement to prepare an environmental or historic preservation review in order to add new or upgrade wireless facilities on existing infrastructure,” Bill Johnson said. “This eliminates burdensome reviews that are often repetitive and that unnecessarily slowdown broadband expansion. Reliable broadband expansion and efficiency must go hand in hand. Rural areas like Eastern and Southeastern Ohio are hungry for opportunities, and there is great demand for reliable broadband that would open the doors for businesses, schools, and homes to grow our economy and revitalize our region of the country. And, as we strive to reach underserved communities, we must also streamline the process to get them served as quickly as possible. The economic growth and opportunities of rural America and Eastern and Southeastern Ohio depend on it – and I call on the full House to take up this important legislation and vote on it.”

House Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Republican Subcommittee Leader for Communications and Technology Bob Latta (R-OH) also issued the following statement on this comprehensive package:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the challenges faced by families and workers who still do not have reliable access to the internet. This has prevented millions from accessing vital health care, remote work, and economic resources. Unreliable internet and limited broadband access have also set countless children back in school because of connectivity issues while far too many schools remain closed. It’s unacceptable and hurting the next generation. To make a strong comeback from this pandemic, every House Republican on Energy and Commerce is leading in the Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda so America closes the digital divide. This agenda will get education back on track and promote economic opportunity for all Americans across the entire country.”