WASHINGTON, D.C., March 29, 2017 - Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.) said she expects the Senate Commerce Committee to put infrastructure at the top of its agenda and that funding will include broadband projects. Her comments came today at the American Cable Association's 24th Washington, D.C., Summit.
"The Commerce Committee has enormous jurisdiction. Infrastructure is where we will go first - roads, airports, and broadband," she said, adding that she expects infrastructure and broadband investment to garner bipartisan support.
Sen. Capito, a member of the Commerce Committee, made her comments during a Q&A with ACA President & CEO Matt Polka, before a packed house of independent cable leaders dedicated to providing world-class services to consumers in hometown markets across the nation.
She was introduced to the ACA Summit audience by Chris Kyle, Vice President of Industry Relations and Regulatory at Shentel, a cable operator serving more than 50,000 subscribers in Virginia and West Virginia.
Sen. Capito further noted that broadband deployment is a critical interest of West Virginia, especially as the state spearheads efforts to diversify industry in the state.
"Broadband is one of the building blocks of diversification," she explained. "We can't grow business and tourism without broadband."
In addition to infrastructure, the Commerce committee also has jurisdiction over the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
"I have great hope for the FCC under the direction of Chairman Pai," Capito said. "He is a very smart guy and a good listener." She added that Pai's interest in rural communications will "be a good thing for West Virginia."
Capito concluded that she expects the committee to support President Trump's efforts to simplify regulation and create a different belief system where "government should be a helper not a hindrance."
Polka echoed ACA's support for light-handed regulation. "For each regulation that is rolled back, there will be more investment in rural broadband," he said.
The ACA Summit is a special event where small and mid-sized cable operators serving hometown America connect with the leading lawmakers and regulators as well as media representatives on the communications policy beat in Washington, D.C. This year's summit coincides with the start of a new Congress and a new President in the White House focused on passing legislation designed to reduce regulatory burdens on communications providers and other businesses.
Please visit the ACA Summit 2017 website by clicking here: ACA Summit. The event is taking place at the Grand Hyatt, 1000 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. This year's Summit is ACA's 24th annual "fly-in" to Washington with its members and, as such, will use the hashtag #Summit24 for all social media about the event.
ACA's more than 750 independent cable operators play a unique role in providing best-in-class communications services to millions of consumers, many living and working in rural areas of the country. Created in the early 1990s, the ACA Summit gives independent cable operators a vehicle for framing the diverse and complex issues in their own words during dozens of meetings on Capitol Hill and with regulators at the FCC.
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 750 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit http://www.americancable.org/
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