Johnson Introduces Broadband Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) has introduced a bill, H.R. 7357, the Wireless Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act as part of an Energy and Commerce broadband legislative push.

According to a statement from Johnson’s office, “Under the direction of House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), Republicans on the committee came together to attack the digital divide by finding ways to improve access to rural broadband. In places like Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, there is great demand for reliable broadband that would open the doors for businesses, schools, and homes to grow and revitalize our region of the country.”

“I introduced H.R. 7357, the Wireless Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act, which declares that collocations of wireless facilities are a category of activities to be excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental or historic preservation review,” Bill Johnson said. “This eliminates these burdensome reviews that are often repetitive and that unnecessarily slow down broadband expansion. Reliable broadband expansion and efficiency must go hand in hand. While we strive to reach underserved communities, we must also streamline the process to get them served as quickly as possible. The economic growth and opportunities of rural America and Eastern and Southeastern Ohio depends on it.”

Rep. Greg Walden added, “More than 21 million Americans could not access broadband before COVID-19, and the pandemic has made even more clear how vital these services are as Americans work, learn, and receive health care from home. I appreciate Rep. Johnson’s leadership in introducing the Wireless Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act. Republicans are leading the way to close the digital divide for all Americans.” 

Broadband and internet connectivity continues to be an issue for much of Southeast Ohio.