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Latta Applauds Administration Action to Ensure 5G Leadership, Close the Digital Divide

Washington, April 12, 2019 | Drew Griffin (202-225-6405)

Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) is applauding the announcement by President Donald Trump and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai that major initiatives are being launched to ensure U.S. leadership on 5G and connect rural Americans to high-speed Internet. The FCC will launch their third 5G spectrum auction in December, the largest spectrum auction in U.S. history. In addition, Chairman Pai also announced his intent to create the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will inject $20.4 billion into high-speed broadband networks over the next decade and connect more than four million rural homes and businesses.

“I welcome today’s announcements from the President Trump and the Chairman Pai on the future of next generation wireless connectivity and closing the digital divide,” said Latta. “These announcements show how we are all working together to bring high-speed broadband to rural America and maintain U.S. leadership in 5G connectivity.

“New and exciting technologies are improving efficiency in nearly every sector of our economy. In my district, I have witnessed first-hand how cutting-edge innovation like the Internet of Things, drones, and self-driving machines can assist farmers with monitoring crops and livestock and analyzing soil. That is why last year, I authored the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act and amended the Farm Bill to get my proposal enacted into law. The Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act focuses on the broadband needs of rural communities and how to take advantage of the precision agriculture to connect farmers and rural households to the 21st century economy.

“Today’s announcements about bringing more spectrum to market – and additional federal support for high-speed broadband networks in rural America – will only help to further the initiatives that we passed last year and remain committed to work on in the Energy and Commerce Committee. I hope that continued efforts in Congress will complement this important work, and that the majority will not impose utility-style regulations on 5G and the innovative technologies that it will support.”

Congressman Latta is a leader in Congress on efforts to close the digital divide. His legislation, the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act, was signed into law last year as part of the Farm Bill. He also serves as Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and has stated that ensuring American 5G leadership and improving access to high-speed Internet are two of his top priorities. In addition, Latta is a Co-Chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus.

In March, FCC Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr visited Ohio’s 5th Congressional District to discuss efforts to expand access to rural broadband and improve connectivity in rural communities.

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