The House Energy & Commerce communications subcommittee discussed barriers to broadband deployment today. The panel’s bipartisan leaders discussed bills to require broadband conduit to be built along with federally funded roads and other proposals to make it easier to provide access to utility poles and determine how federal land could be better used to support broadband infrastructure. Permitting impediments was a frequent concern of committee members and witnesses.
Texas Congressman Pete Olson said what the country needs is a “lean mean federal machine for permits.”
Military facilities were singled out by panelists for delaying the review and permitting process, oftentimes taking years.
Testifying were Heather Burnett Gold, President and CEO FTTH Council Americas; Jeb Benedict, Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs and Regulatory Counsel, Centurylink; Scott Bergmann, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs CTIA; and Deb Socia, Executive Director NextCentury Cities.