WASHINGTON -- Global tech trade association ITI sent a letter to Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) commending Congress and the Biden Administration for “taking steps to rebuild and modernize our national infrastructure” and urging Congress to pass legislation that would expand broadband access “to bring U.S. infrastructure into the 21st Century and leave a lasting legacy that will improve the lives of Americans for decades to come.”
“In today’s rapidly evolving digital world, infrastructure challenges have been magnified due to the global pandemic, and the need for significant investments to close the digital divide and increase connectivity has been sharply brought into focus,” said Jason Oxman President & CEO of ITI, who signed theletter. “The strength of existing broadband networks powered our economy through the unprecedented challenges of the last year and a half, but to accelerate American leadership in critical technologies of the future and to ensure that broadband is accessible to all Americans, more must be done. Digital infrastructure is the foundation connecting Americans to the economic and social benefits that flow from a well-connected online economy, including access to virtual healthcare services, online education, small business development resources, and remote working opportunities, among others. By making significant investments in digital infrastructure, the U.S. government can help spur economic growth and job creation, incentivize domestic investment, and meet the current and future needs of all Americans.”
The letter, sent on July 15, outlines the primary principles upon which ITI believes any broadband connectivity legislation should be based, including:
- Any federal investments in broadband funding should be technology neutral and consider both fiber and wireless solutions, which means in part that a symmetrical 100/100 Mbps download/upload requirement would fail to adequately address the needs of unserved and underserved Americans;
- Any federal investments should be based on accurate mapping data;
- Policymakers should promote digital inclusion by considering a permanent support mechanism for consumers who cannot afford broadband access; and
- Policymakers should also consider support for network security and resiliency.