Johnson leads bill to speed wireless broadband deployment

In an effort to close America’s digital divide, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) on Monday sponsored legislation that aims to hasten broadband deployment by removing regulatory red tape.

“This bill would eliminate burdensome reviews that are often repetitive and slow down broadband expansion,” said Rep. Johnson. “Reliable broadband expansion and efficiency must go hand in hand.”

The congressman said he sponsored the Wireless Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act, H.R. 3289, to remove the requirement to prepare an environmental or historic preservation review in order to add new or upgrade wireless facilities on existing infrastructure.

“Rural areas such as the one I represent are hungry for opportunities, and there is great demand for reliable broadband that would open the doors for businesses, schools, and homes to grow our economy and revitalize our region of the country,” Rep. Johnson said. “And, as we strive to reach underserved communities, it is imperative to streamline the process to get them served as quickly as possible.

“The economic growth and opportunities of rural America and Eastern Ohio depend on it,” he added, “and I call on the full House to vote on and pass this important legislation.”

H.R. 3289 has been referred to both the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.

“Many families and businesses across the country still lack access to broadband, which is a critical part of today’s economy,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). “The legislative package we’re unveiling today will help us connect all Americans, and I commend Rep. Johnson for his leadership on the Wireless Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act, which will help achieve these goals.”