FCC Advances Rulemaking to Close Broadband Gap


Voices for Innovation, along with a wide range of organizations, recently urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move forward with new rulemaking to foster the deployment of TV White Spaces (TVWS) technology. This technology can provide wireless broadband connectivity over several miles and is a critical tool for closing the broadband gap, especially in rural America.

As part of our effort, we submitted a letter to the FCC signed by more than 100 primarily small business leaders in support of new TVWS rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai cited our support shortly after placing his rulemaking proposal on the agenda for the FCC’s February 28 meeting.

At the February 28 meeting, FCC commissioners unanimously approved the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update TVWS rules “to pave the way for improved broadband coverage for rural Americans.”

More Work Ahead

The FCC’s action represents an important milestone in closing the broadband divide, but it is just one step forward. Now the technical work on developing rules needs to move forward—ideally with completion by the end of the year.

It’s also critical that the FCC quickly and fully implement new policies to better collect data about the availability of broadband connectivity. We cannot fully address this challenge until we accurately measure it.

Submitting the letter to the FCC was just one part of our effort to advance TVWS policymaking. VFI members from across the country also shared their views on social media and have communicated with their members of Congress about this issue as well.

We’ll continue to remain engaged on this issue and will keep our members up to date about progress in Washington and around the country. Our end goal is to see all of America with broadband coverage.