The Chair of the House Republican Conference and fourth-ranking House Republican has asked her colleagues on Capitol Hill and the Trump Administration to cooperate with industry when planning investments in the broadband infrastructure.
“My vision is that government would be a partner, not a competitor,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said during a Q&A with American Cable Association (ACA) President/CEO Matthew Polka at the ACA’s 24th Washington, DC Summit, held Wednesday (3/29).
“Everyone — Republicans, Democrats, Independents – agrees that we need to address infrastructure,” Rodgers said. “It’s foundational. There is a lot of excitement around an infrastructure package.
Rep. McMorris Rodgers has deep roots in rural America, and a first-hand understanding of what it’s like to run a small business. She added, “Broadband is so foundational. A lot of people would like to have the opportunity to live in rural America and operate a business in rural America. Broadband is key to that.”
Rodgers said that in looking at underserved areas, it’s very important that government have the right priorities.
“There is appropriate oversight and accountability so government isn’t putting money in a place that’s seen as a competitor, but rather helping provide core infrastructure to those underserved areas,” she added.
Rep. McMorris Rodgers also commented on the March 28 vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to overturn the FCC’s Internet privacy rules.
“That was Congress saying we disapproved of those FCC rules,” she said.
Rodgers urged ACA members to establish relationships with U.S. representatives.
“Make sure your representative understands your business, understands your priorities, understands the impacts of regulation, and understands your desire to be innovative. So often, taxes and regulations make it really tough to be innovative and limit your options,” she said.
The ACA Summit saw cable operators connect with the leading lawmakers and regulators, including FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly.
The Pittsburgh-based ACA represents some 750 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across the U.S.