Collins introduces legislation to address lack of high-speed Internet in rural areas
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would create a national federal registry of communications infrastructure to help address the lack of high-speed internet access in rural areas.
This registry will help determine which assets are available for lease to better expand access and will facilitate coordination between federal, state, and local governments, as well as between carriers.
“It is almost unbelievable to think that approximately 65 percent of my district is underserved by broadband technology and about 3 percent is completely unserved,” said Collins. “Broadband access is important to our rural communities as our reliance on the Internet continues to grow for education, starting and administrating a business, receiving care from a doctor, or just plain shopping.”
Broadband companies have found it time-consuming, expensive, and complicated to reach the communities that currently lack access, Collins said. This inventory would be available to communications providers, and include a description of assets, their locations, and a point of contact from each agency for more information on a given asset.
Collins sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which will be holding a series of hearings in the coming weeks to address removing barriers to infrastructure buildout, supporting innovation, and strengthening the public safety benefits that come with access to broadband internet.
“We need to think about things like public safety, making sure law enforcement has the ability to receive notification of an emergency and quickly respond,” Collins said. “Our communities need broadband internet access to stay connected, and I am confident we are taking steps in the right direction.”
For more information about the Inventory of Assets for Communications Facilities Act of 2018, click here.