Clyburn Calls on FCC to Reverse EBS Decision

Some Democratic members of the House Task Force on Rural Broadband., led by Majority Whip James Clyburn, have called on the FCC to reverse its decision to elimate the educational broadband service (EBS) designation of the 2.5 GHZ band. 

Rep. James Clyburn

Rep. James Clyburn

That came in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

A politically divided FCC voted earlier this month to convert the 2.5 GHz band from one reserved for EBS licenses to flexible licenses that can be used for 5G, and to auction currently unassigned spectrum (white spaces) in the band. 

Clyburn and a quartet of other Dems expressed their "strong disapproval" of the FCC  

“Too many communities across the country are in digital desserts and the rural areas that do have access to high speed internet, the service is often unreliable, unaffordable, and too slow,” said Clyburn. “EBS provides millions of rural Americans access to the internet and the FCC’s decision to eliminate education requirements for EBS only exacerbates the rural-urban digital divide. High-speed internet access is essential to education, health care and employment in rural communities. Without connectivity, rural households will continue to be left behind.” 

Broadband access advocacy runs in the family. Clyburn is the father of former FCC commissioner and chair Mignon Clyburn, for whom closing the digital divide was a prime directive. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.