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Tonko Broadband Bill Advances Out of Committee

Capital Region Congressman adds to growing record of bipartisan legislative successes under Republican majority

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Washington, July 12, 2018 | comments

WASHINGTONCongressman Paul D. Tonko added to his string of recent legislative achievements today as the Energy & Commerce Committee voted this afternoon to advance his broadband reform bill, the ACCESS BROADBAND Act, for consideration by the full House.

“Broadband Internet access has become a necessity for Capital Region families, businesses and our regional economy, helping our students keep up with homework, job candidates build toward a new career, doctors read medical scans and entrepreneurs start or grow a small business,” said Tonko. “However, current public investments in Broadband access have little accountability or oversight and often produce inefficient or incomplete results. My bill seeks to change all of that, running all federal Broadband resources through a single, streamlined and accountable point of contact. I am grateful to my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee for advancing this commonsense legislation to the House floor.”

H.R. 3994, the ACCESS BROADBAND Act establishes a single point of contact office to streamline management of federal broadband resources across multiple agencies and create a simpler process for small businesses and local economic developers to access them including informational workshops for local businesses and economic developers. ACCESS BROADBAND stands for Advancing Critical Connectivity Expands Service, Small Businesses Resources, Opportunities, Access, and Data Based on Assessed Need and Demand. The bill is cosponsored by 17 members including 7 Republicans.

A second bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Tonko was also advanced. H.R. 5709, Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement (PIRATE) Act would increase penalties and restrictions on unlawful broadcasting, sometimes referred to as ‘pirate radio.’ Pirate signals can pose a significant threat to public safety – oftentimes disrupting Federal Aviation Administration operations, the Emergency Alert System and other tools relied upon by first responders.

“Whether a radio frequency is being used by first responders coordinating to save lives or parents who just want to keep obscenity and bigotry away from their children, our communities are better served when broadcasting is governed by the rule of law. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support of the PIRATE Act, important legislation that will ensure our airwaves and communities are protected and Americans on the job or on their way to work can tune their radios in peace.”

The PIRATE Act is short for Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement (PIRATE) Act and is cosponsored by Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ). It has been endorsed by the National Association for Broadcasters, New York State Broadcasters Association and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, Inc.

Recent Tonko legislative achievements include:

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Tags: Telecom

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