As the lone telecom representative at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last month, ACA’s Matt Polka stressed the importance of reliable and robust broadband for the U.S. to maintain its competitiveness. In the above interview, he points out that broadband is also critical for the operation of other infrastructures, from ports and waterways to trucking to railways.
At the hearing, he was able to explain some of the subtle challenges his operator members face when deploying and expanding broadband including things like permitting and gaining access to various rights-of-way. He points out that additional money isn’t always the answer and that reducing and removing barriers can be just as critical.
He was encouraged by the conversation between the various entities that was started at that panel and that working together private industry may be able to solve issues without government involvement. As pointed out in the interview, this fits well with the theme of the 2019 ACA’s Summit, which is #WeConnect.