Wicker Speaks on Broadband Mapping, Rip and Replace

March 4, 2020

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today spoke on the Senate floor in support of S. 1822, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act, and H.R. 4998, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act. These two pieces of legislation support the expansion of broadband in rural and underserved communities and ensure American networks are safe and secure from foreign intrusion.

Click here to watch Chairman Wicker’s floor speech.

Excerpt from Chairman Wicker’s remarks, as delivered, below:

. . .

So, last week, the Senate took a major step toward removing the Chinese threat by passing the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act.

This bill, which some refer to as the “rip and replace” bill,  would rip out the Huawei equipment and replace it with reliable equipment that will not engage in espionage. 

This legislation will lay the foundation to give strong financial incentives to U.S. firms to strip out their Huawei and ZTE technology and replace it with secure alternatives.

 It will also help small, rural telecom providers transition away from firms that are controlled by Beijing.

. . .

The Broadband DATA Act addresses the Federal Communications Commission’s flawed maps, which you and I have been so concerned about, Madam President.

Every year the FCC spends billions of dollars to promote deployment of broadband across the United States. 

This funding is especially important for America’s rural communities, which so often lag behind in broadband development.

We have done a lot to close the digital divide, but an estimated 20 million Americans still lack access to broadband.