ACA’s Polka pitches Congress on capitalist alternatives to future broadband expansion

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Polka also said the government should remove barriers to deployment, such as impediments for utility pole attachers to over-lash. (Pixabay)

One day after it was reported that the Trump Administration wants to control 5G broadband access with a state-run network, American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew Polka told Congress that it should encourage private investment for fixed and mobile broadband.

In sharp contrast with Trump’s more socialist plans for future network deployment, Polka told the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology that the federal government should not undermine private investments into broadband infrastructure. For example, he said government funds should not be used to support providers. 

In a legislative hearing called, “Closing the Digital Divide: Broadband Infrastructure Solutions,” Polka also said the government should remove barriers to deployment, such as impediments for utility pole attachers to over-lash. 

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Polka also advised Congress to wait to see how the removal of said barriers and the new corporate tax bonanza will impact distribution of broadband in unserved areas before committing funds to aid the process. 

“ACA calculates that by removing barriers, providers’ costs to deploy will be reduced, such that 1.2 million homes would become served with fiber infrastructure through private investment alone,” Polka said. 

“The new tax law will likewise result in more than 400,000 unserved homes being served,” he added. 

Finally, Polka asked Congress to provide broadband subsidies “efficiently,” using programs like “Connect America,” which he said will reduce homes receiving less than 10 Mbps speeds by 2 million by 2020.