Representative David Trone

Representing the 6th District of Maryland

House Passes Trone Amendment to Help Spur High-Speed Broadband Deployment Across Western Maryland

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April 10, 2019
Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Hannah Muldavin, Hannah.Muldavin@mail.house.gov

House Passes Trone Amendment to Help Spur High-Speed Broadband Deployment Across Western Maryland

Washington, DC - The House of Representatives today unanimously passed an amendment offered by Congressman David Trone (MD-06) to ensure the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) uses accurate data in order to help spur the development of reliable, high-speed broadband internet in Western Maryland and across the country. Recent reports indicate that the FCC used flawed data in order to justify Chairman Ajit Pai’s deregulatory agenda.

The provision was added to the Save the Internet Act, a bill to restore strong net neutrality protections to the internet. This bill would ensure the internet is free and open to all and prevents internet service providers from blocking, throttling, and using paid prioritization. The bill also restores FCC powers to fund broadband development for rural communities and low-income Americans.

This is the second provision offered by Congressman Trone to pass the House floor.

The text of Congressman Trone’s speech in support of his amendment is linked here and below:

In 21st Century America, having reliable, high-speed broadband isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity -- just like running water or electricity. It is part of our essential infrastructure.

Yet millions of Americans in rural communities - including some in my district in Western Maryland - remain disconnected from the internet.

That lack of connectivity leads to homework gaps, healthcare gaps, and economic development gaps.

It is our job in Congress to eliminate those gaps.

The Federal Communications Commission is required to report accurate data to the public so that we can make effective decisions about rural broadband infrastructure policy and investment.

But there is strong evidence that the percentage of Americans without broadband access is much higher than the FCC's numbers indicate.

In order to justify Chairman Pai (PIE)’s deregulation agenda, the FCC released highly flawed and misleading data that paints a false picture of broadband deployment in rural America.

We now know that the FCC’s data was based on a massive error that was brought to his attention before the FCC disseminated a press release touting their success!

That kind of deception could lead to millions of our neighbors in rural America being locked out of this critical good.

This amendment seeks to address this issue by:

  • One - prohibiting the FCC from releasing a report based on information it knows to be inaccurate
  • And two - specifying that the Commission must use its best efforts to ensure all future reports are accurate. They must correct past inaccuracies prior to the release of new data on broadband deployment.

It’s pretty simple: we need accurate information to make the best decisions regarding broadband deployment.

Let’s ensure we get that from the FCC moving forward, and then let’s ensure every American has access to reliable, high-speed broadband.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Education and Labor, Foreign Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees, where he is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the opioid epidemic, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

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