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House Broadband Deployment Hearing Scheduled

The Energy & Commerce Committee Communications Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing Oct. 28 on proposals to improve broadband deployment.

Those include ones for streamlining access to federal lands, looking at the "bureaucracy that impedes private sector investment in broadband," which may in some cases be what prevents that streamlining, and "dig once" policies.

Specifically, up for consideration will be a new "dig once" bill just introduced by the chair and ranking members of the subcommittee.

“There is no doubt that even Marty McFly would be in awe of the technological advancements of the 21st century where friends, family, and just about any piece of information imaginable, are just a fingertip away,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the subcommittee and co-sponsor of the bill. “With breakneck innovation has come a nearly insatiable demand for broadband access. This subcommittee has long worked across party lines to make sure wired and mobile broadband access is available for consumers and job creators. That work continues next week.”

Walden announced the hearing Wednesday (Oct. 21), thus the reference to Back to the Future Day.

Witnesses for the hearing are Heather Burnett Gold, president and CEO, FTTH Council Americas; Jeb Benedict, VP, federal regulatory affairs and regulatory counsel, Centurylink; Scott Bergmann, VP, regulatory affairs, CTIA; Deb Socia, executive director, NextCentury Cities.

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.