NATOA Meets with Biden Transition Team

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In late December, NATOA had the opportunity to meet with President-Elect Biden’s FCC Agency Review Team (ART) to discuss local governments’ perspective on the ways in which recent FCC policies have impacted our ability to meet the critical communications needs of our communities. Access to these services is a key component in addressing economic and racial equality issues, as well as the health crisis brought on by the pandemic, all of which are priorities for local governments as well as the Biden administration. Yet, as we explained to the ART, the FCC has drastically limited the local role in deployment of communications services that are essential to ensuring that everyone has access to jobs, education, healthcare, information, entertainment and the digital world.

The FCC’s small cell policies, for example, have prevented municipalities from working with the private sector to direct resources to un- and under-served areas, despite successful partnerships in San Jose, California and elsewhere prior to the FCC’s preemptive actions. Similarly, though decades of local cable franchising has resulted in cable companies being the largest providers of broadband services in the country, the FCC has undercut those agreements and hampered local public, educational, and governmental (PEG) access channels that have served as reliable sources for accurate, up-to-date information and access to local government meetings during the pandemic.

NATOA looks forward to working with the incoming Biden administration and the FCC to advance communications policies that ensure deployment of robust and affordable communications services to all Americans, with local governments as essential partners in this endeavor.