WISPAmerica Show Daily Day 1

www. WISPA .org 1 www.bekabusinessmedia.com Header... In February, President Trump unveiled his long-awaited plan for repairing America’s infra- structure, aiming to leverage state and local tax dollars and private investment. WISPA praised the plan’s emphasis on expanding investment in rural America but voiced caution on the idea of more subsidies for broadband networks. “We are pleased by the president’s call for investment in rural broadband,” said WISPA Chairman Chuck Hogg. “With an estimated 24 million rural Americans on the wrong side of the digital divide, there is no higher priority in U.S. tech and telecom policy than closing the rural broadband gap.” However, WISPA cautioned that any new federal support for rural broadband should not be used to subsidize large broadband carriers to compete against smaller ones, as has happened all too often in the past. Moreover, WISPA noted that fixed wireless technology is the most cost-effective solution for broadband access, especially in rural areas; and that subsidies alone are an ineffective approach to spurring investment in fixed wireless providers. “We encourage the Trump administration and the Congress to take a new approach and not focus primarily on subsidies as the policy response,” Hogg added. “All too often, subsidies tend to reinforce the dominance of larger carriers and non-cost-effective technologies. Any new subsidies must be distributed in a way that is technology-neutral, cost-effective, performance- based, and accessible to smaller providers. “Equally important, the FCC’s upcoming decision on the ‘CBRS’ spectrum band has enormous implications for rural broadband,” Hogg added. “Any changes to the CBRS rules that create new barriers for small providers will work against the administration’s rural broadband push.” To that end, WISPA has been working to discourage the FCC from adopting changes in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band that would effectively block small ISPs from using those airwaves to serve rural areas. We will continue working with the Administra- tion to ensure the best possible outcome for our members. m ShowDaily DAY 1 Staff Report WISPA Welcomes Trump’s Rural Infrastructure Plan – But with Cautions