Thompson meets with FCC Chairman Genachowski on Implementation of National Broadband Plan

Dec 8, 2009

Washington, D.C. — Co-Vice Chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Rural Caucus, U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today had an opportunity to meet with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski on the National Broadband Plan and how it can benefit rural communities.

The Congressional Rural Caucus requested the meeting with the FCC Chairman because of the expressed concerns in a June 26th letter to the FCC regarding the creation of a National Broadband Plan. The commission had been tasked with creating the plan through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by February 17, 2010.  The plan is to propose how to ensure every American has access to broadband.

“Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional district is the most rural in the Commonwealth and just larger than the state of New Jersey,” Thompson told the Chairman.  “There is much of my district where connectivity is limited—to say the least.  The lack of broadband access for private and public sectors has far reaching consequences.  It limits our opportunities for employment, reduces our quality of life, and stifles our potential for economic development.”

“New technologies in electronic medical records have the potential to make specialized medical care needs in rural America more accessible, regardless of geographical location, but these areas need to be wired first” added Thompson, a 28-year health care professional.
The June 26th letter to the FCC states “that basic broadband service is no longer a luxury, but a necessity and a national broadband plan should reflect this transformation is as fundamentally important as electricity and water.”

The Chairman told the Congressional Rural Caucus that he very much compares the need for broadband deployment to the electrification of America and that the FCC will continue outreach with the Caucus and its members as the National Broadband Plan is implemented over the coming months.