When I ran for Congress, I promised that the days of Western Maryland being left behind are over. That’s why I’m proud to announce that today the House passed the Trone Amendment to help spur development of high-speed internet across rural Western Maryland.
In order to serve a political agenda, the FCC has been using inaccurate data to claim that more rural Americans have access to broadband than actually do. This is wrong, and it must end. My amendment will stop these deceptive practices and require that the FCC use accurate data.
I ran for Congress to fight for my constituents, and I will continue doing that every day I have the privilege of serving you.
Below you can find the text of my speech on the House floor on this crucial issue:
In 21st Century America, having reliable, high-speed broadband isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity — just like running water or electricity. It is part of our essential infrastructure.
Yet millions of Americans in rural communities – including some in my district in Western Maryland – remain disconnected from the internet.
That lack of connectivity leads to homework gaps, healthcare gaps, and economic development gaps.
It is our job in Congress to eliminate those gaps.
The Federal Communications Commission is required to report accurate data to the public so that we can make effective decisions about rural broadband infrastructure policy and investment.
But there is strong evidence that the percentage of Americans without broadband access is much higher than the FCC’s numbers indicate.
In order to justify Chairman Pai deregulation agenda, the FCC released highly flawed and misleading data that paints a false picture of broadband deployment in rural America.
We now know that the FCC’s data was based on a massive error that was brought to his attention before the FCC disseminated a press release touting their success!
That kind of deception could lead to millions of our neighbors in rural America being locked out of this critical good.
This amendment seeks to address this issue by:
· One – prohibiting the FCC from releasing a report based on information it knows to be inaccurate
· And two – specifying that the Commission must use its best efforts to ensure all future reports are accurate. They must correct past inaccuracies prior to the release of new data on broadband deployment.
It’s pretty simple: we need accurate information to make the best decisions regarding broadband deployment.
Let’s ensure we get that from the FCC moving forward, and then let’s ensure every American has access to reliable, high-speed broadband.