FCC chairman Ajit Pai Thursday was spotlighting the news that Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) has signed on as a cosponsor of the Gigabit Opportunity (GO) Act.
The bill was introduced last month by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).
The bill would give tax breaks to companies for investing in gigabit-capable expansion into those communities; direct the FCC to release a framework that encourages states, counties and cities to voluntarily adopt streamlined broadband laws and be designated as a “Gigabit Opportunity Zone;" and defer capital gains for upgrades and allow companies to expense the cost of creating those zones, as well as allow states to more easily issue tax-exempt bonds.
Pai has launched two proceedings to make it easier to build out broadband, wireless and wired, and has proposed creating Gigabit Opportunity Zones providing such tax breaks and streamlined approvals for buildouts.
In a statement released after the news of Coons' support, Pai said: “Closing the digital divide is a top national priority. Gigabit Opportunity Zones would go a long way toward meeting that priority. By streamlining regulations to encourage broadband deployment and establishing targeted tax incentives for entrepreneurs to build those networks, we can empower millions of Americans, rural and urban alike. This is a common sense idea, and I’m excited to see it gaining bipartisan support."