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Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn is set to help shape broadband expansion and spectrum allocation as the new House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee chairman.
Rural broadband service is critical for better healthcare, education and economic development, the eight-term lawmaker said during a two-part interview with Bloomberg BNA (Part I here and Part II here).
“Broadband is the infrastructure issue of this decade,” Blackburn said.
Blackburn said her first priority is refocusing the roles of two agencies that control the allocation of spectrum, or the radio waves that carry wireless communications. Blackburn said the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration need to be reined in and refocused on ways to free up spectrum for more commercial applications by wireless carriers and internet providers.
“You’ve had a lot of mission creep and taking on things that are not essential to core missions of the agencies,” Blackburn told Bloomberg BNA.
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