A bipartisan quintet of Senators is launching the Senate Broadband Caucus today (July 12).
Founding members include Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.), according to Capito's office.
The caucus is being billed as "a platform to discuss emerging broadband issues in Congress, and will promote solutions that increase Internet access and close the digital divide in America."
Plenty of those broadband issues are either emerging or already percolating on the Hill, including the FCC broadband privacy proposal getting a vetting in the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday.
“I thank Senators Capito, King, Klobuchar, Boozman and Heitkamp for investing time and resources to create the Senate Broadband Caucus,” said Competitive Carriers Association President Steven Berry. “Access to mobile broadband is essential to increase connectivity in rural America and provide the same economic, educational, healthcare and social opportunities and benefits afforded to consumers in urban and suburban areas of the country. The formation of the Senate Broadband Caucus demonstrates that Congress understands the importance of broadband as a vital resource and economic engine for jobs and growth for communities, businesses and individuals in every corner of the country.”
“NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association commends Sens. Capito, King, Klobuchar, Heitkamp and Boozman for organizing a caucus related to an important issue on which they have already shown tremendous leadership," said NTCA: The Rural Broadband Association president Shirley Bloomfield. "Robust, reliable and affordable broadband becomes more essential to the quality of life in rural America each day. NTCA and its members are thankful for these senators who represent large rural areas and understand the importance of available and sustainable broadband to residents and businesses. We look forward to working with them through the new Senate Broadband Caucus.”
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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.