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Broadband's Impact

Congress Must Prioritize Connectivity in Underserved Areas Over Higher Speeds

A House hearing debated the need for broadband and the higher speed thresholds currently before Congress.

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Jim Hagedorn, R-Minnesota

June 17, 2021–Congress should focus on getting some basic level of broadband to underserved areas rather than getting sidetracked by trying to increase the speed threshold, a Republican member said Wednesday.

Jim Hagedorn, R-Minnesota, said at a hearing of the House Committee on Small Business’ subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Business Development that the push to increase the download and upload speeds is less important right now than to “focus on those who have no connectivity.”

Three bills currently before the House and introduced in March would significantly increase those broadband speeds and create new tiers of service. Under the proposed bills, the new definition of “served,” which was previously categorized as areas with access to speeds of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload, would be updated to bump up the upload speed to 25 Mbps.

Hagedorn’s comments are similar to those shared in the immediate aftermath of the introduction of those bills. The threshold increase proposal drew opposition from former Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who said in March that the proposal is “out-of-touch” and that the proposed “medium tier” of 100/100 Mbps “makes little sense.”

O’Rielly’s concern was that most of the country does not meet these new definition, which could lead to subsidized overbuilding, where public money is being wasted on areas with existing high-speed networks, thereby leaving out areas without quality broadband.

Steve Perry, a consultant at Perry Bayliss, said in April that the defenders of the bills would be faced with a hurdle to show that the current speed threshold of 25/3 is insufficient.

But Peggy Schaffer, the executive director of ConnectMaine Authority, pushed back against Hagedorn on Wednesday and suggested that “high quality broadband” is equally as important.

Reporter Jasmine Campos, a native of California, studied political science and journalism at Azusa Pacific University. She worked as the news editor on her school newspaper and contributor for The College Fix. In her free time, she reads, catches up on the latest news or is binge-watching Friends.

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June 17, 2021–Congress should focus on getting some basic level of broadband to underserved areas rather than getting sidetracked by trying to increase the speed threshold, a Republican member said Wednesday.

Jim Hagedorn, R-Minnesota, said at a hearing of the House Committee on Small Business’ subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Business Development that the push to increase the download and upload speeds is less important right now than to “focus on those who have no connectivity.”

Three bills currently before the House and introduced in March would significantly increase those broadband speeds and create new tiers of service. Under the proposed bills, the new definition of “served,” which was previously categorized as areas with access to speeds of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload, would be updated to bump up the upload speed to 25 Mbps.

Hagedorn’s comments are similar to those shared in the immediate aftermath of the introduction of those bills. The threshold increase proposal drew opposition from former Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who said in March that the proposal is “out-of-touch” and that the proposed “medium tier” of 100/100 Mbps “makes little sense.”

O’Rielly’s concern was that most of the country does not meet these new definition, which could lead to subsidized overbuilding, where public money is being wasted on areas with existing high-speed networks, thereby leaving out areas without quality broadband.

Steve Perry, a consultant at Perry Bayliss, said in April that the defenders of the bills would be faced with a hurdle to show that the current speed threshold of 25/3 is insufficient.

But Peggy Schaffer, the executive director of ConnectMaine Authority, pushed back against Hagedorn on Wednesday and suggested that “high quality broadband” is equally as important.

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June 17, 2021–Congress should focus on getting some basic level of broadband to underserved areas rather than getting sidetracked by trying to increase the speed threshold, a Republican member said Wednesday.

Jim Hagedorn, R-Minnesota, said at a hearing of the House Committee on Small Business’ subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Business Development that the push to increase the download and upload speeds is less important right now than to “focus on those who have no connectivity.”

Three bills currently before the House and introduced in March would significantly increase those broadband speeds and create new tiers of service. Under the proposed bills, the new definition of “served,” which was previously categorized as areas with access to speeds of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload, would be updated to bump up the upload speed to 25 Mbps.

Hagedorn’s comments are similar to those shared in the immediate aftermath of the introduction of those bills. The threshold increase proposal drew opposition from former Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who said in March that the proposal is “out-of-touch” and that the proposed “medium tier” of 100/100 Mbps “makes little sense.”

O’Rielly’s concern was that most of the country does not meet these new definition, which could lead to subsidized overbuilding, where public money is being wasted on areas with existing high-speed networks, thereby leaving out areas without quality broadband.

Steve Perry, a consultant at Perry Bayliss, said in April that the defenders of the bills would be faced with a hurdle to show that the current speed threshold of 25/3 is insufficient.

But Peggy Schaffer, the executive director of ConnectMaine Authority, pushed back against Hagedorn on Wednesday and suggested that “high quality broadband” is equally as important.

Continue Reading

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June 17, 2021–Congress should focus on getting some basic level of broadband to underserved areas rather than getting sidetracked by trying to increase the speed threshold, a Republican member said Wednesday.

Jim Hagedorn, R-Minnesota, said at a hearing of the House Committee on Small Business’ subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Business Development that the push to increase the download and upload speeds is less important right now than to “focus on those who have no connectivity.”

Three bills currently before the House and introduced in March would significantly increase those broadband speeds and create new tiers of service. Under the proposed bills, the new definition of “served,” which was previously categorized as areas with access to speeds of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload, would be updated to bump up the upload speed to 25 Mbps.

Hagedorn’s comments are similar to those shared in the immediate aftermath of the introduction of those bills. The threshold increase proposal drew opposition from former Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who said in March that the proposal is “out-of-touch” and that the proposed “medium tier” of 100/100 Mbps “makes little sense.”

O’Rielly’s concern was that most of the country does not meet these new definition, which could lead to subsidized overbuilding, where public money is being wasted on areas with existing high-speed networks, thereby leaving out areas without quality broadband.

Steve Perry, a consultant at Perry Bayliss, said in April that the defenders of the bills would be faced with a hurdle to show that the current speed threshold of 25/3 is insufficient.

But Peggy Schaffer, the executive director of ConnectMaine Authority, pushed back against Hagedorn on Wednesday and suggested that “high quality broadband” is equally as important.

Continue Reading

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