FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel made a
road trip to Arkansas Monday to provide opening remarks at a Senate Commerce
Committee field hearing on the state of rural communications and had some good
things to say about the state of broadband deployment.
than 80 percent of American households have access to broadband at speeds as
high as 100 Megabits," she told the hearing audience in Little Rock. "The United States leads the world in
4G LTE wireless deployment. And our dedicated rural carriers have already
brought communications to some of America's hardest-to-reach
communities. This has created new opportunities for jobs, education,
healthcare, and social and civic engagement. We have made progress. We should
But she also said there
was still work to do to make sure that rural communities were not left behind.
That includes leveraging reclaimed broadcast spectrum for rural wireless
services; reforming and simplifying the Universal Service Fund, which
subsidizes communications in rural and high-cost areas; getting high speed
broadband to more schools and libraries via the E-rate programs, which she
would like to see set capacity goals and be easier to use; and connecting rural
Rosenworcel was no
stranger to either the subcommittee or its chair, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). She
worked with Pryor in her previous job as senior communications counsel to the
parent Energy & Commerce Committee.