Friday, September 6, 2019

Senate Goes West to Hear Rural Broadband Testimony

Left: FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr climbed 120’ up a 330’ Midco tower near Mitchell, SD before taking part in a rural broadband hearing yesterday afternoon in Sioux Falls, SD.  At right is VIKOR Teleconstruction CEO and NATE co-founder and formerChairman Craig Snyder. Both VIKOR and Midco are NATE members
VIKOR Teleconstruction CEO Craig Snyder, who’s also co-founder and former Chairman of the National Tower Erectors Association, asked Congress and the FCC Thursday for help in two ways to bring broadband to rural America.

Snyder commended the FCC and Commissioner Brendan Carr specifically, for the agency’s “forward-thinking” in clearing regulatory hurdles as the industry works to deploy 5G services. But more needs to be done to reduce regulatory red tape and with workforce development, Snyder said. “Whereas the electric utility industry has almost no zoning or federal hurdles involved in placing their elevated steel infrastructure across our cities and rural areas, telecommunications towers have been met with resistance at almost every turn,” he testified during a field hearing in Sioux Falls, SD on rural broadband. The hearing before members of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet was led by Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD).

Snyder cited bills in the House and Senate that could help alleviate the burdens on the telecom industry. “In particular we could use some help from the Senate with a companion bill to H.R. 1848 – Communications Training Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Representatives Dave Loebsck (D-IA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). This bill would appropriate $20m per year for three fiscal years to develop classroom and field-based curriculum and certificate programs like the one being proposed by Southeast Tech,” Snyder testified. Continue Reading

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