Wicker Questions FCC Nominees About Rural Broadband Expansion Priorities

Nominees Commit to Addressing Data Collection, Permit Issues for Rural Wireless Broadband Deployment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, today questioned three nominees for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about their commitment to expand rural wireless broadband access.

The nominees include current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and former Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. Also under consideration is Brendan Carr, who is currently serving as general counsel for the FCC.

Wicker asked the nominees to commit to standardizing data collection practices regarding mobile broadband coverage. Standardized data is necessary to ensure that funds used to expand broadband deployment are targeted to truly underserved and unserved communities in Mississippi and elsewhere around the country.

Wicker also asked the nominees about the commission’s plans to ease development of 5G networks in both urban and rural areas by streamlining environmental and historic reviews. He noted the presence of public right-of-ways that have already undergone reviews or where broadband infrastructure has already been deployed.