WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina said he has introduced the Expediting Federal Broadband Deployment Reviews Act, which he said is part of a larger broadband infrastructure package led by the House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden and Committee Republicans.
Below is what Duncan said about the bill:
Over the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced our nation to adapt to virtual classrooms, telework, telehealth, and telemedicine. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are unable to transition to this “new normal” due to a lack of high-speed internet services. I’ve long supported the deployment of new broadband infrastructure projects, especially in rural areas, but Congress must first address the burdensome broadband permitting process. Today I introduced H.R. 7421, the Expediting Federal Broadband Deployment Reviews Act. This bill creates a task force within federal agencies responsible for broadband permitting on federal land to expedite the consideration of permits. It will speed up the consideration of broadband deployment on federal land for public use, specifically projects on National Forest Service land and other public land administered by the Department of the Interior. I’m confident this legislation is a major step towards ensuring every American has access to broadband.
Walden added the following statement:
More than 21 million Americans could not access broadband before COVID-19, and the pandemic has made even more clear how vital these services are as Americans work, learn, and receive health care from home. I appreciate Rep. Duncan's leadership in introducing the Expediting Federal Broadband Deployment Reviews Act. Republicans are leading the way to close the digital divide for all Americans.