Secretary Raimondo: ‘Every person in Kansas will have access to high-quality, affordable broadband’
Feb 08 2022
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that provides funding for the Department of Commerce – recently secured a commitment from Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo during a hearing that “every person in Kansas will have access to high-quality, affordable broadband” following the implementation of existing broadband programs.
Click HERE to watch Sen. Moran’s exchange
Transcript of the exchange:
Sen. Moran: Will you commit that the Department of Commerce will ensure unserved areas have access to quality broadband service before areas with existing service?
Secretary Raimondo: I will. I commit that at the end of this every person in Kansas will have access to high-quality, affordable broadband. And so I commit to ensuring that we are not going to spend money adding duplicative service in places before making sure that everyone is unserved and underserved is covered.
Sen. Moran: A more useful answer than a yes or no response. Thank you.
Chair Shaheen (D-N.H.): Be careful, Madam Secretary, because that means every state in the country is going to want that same commitment.
Sen. Moran: I believe that commitment was made to Kansans.
Secretary Raimondo: Now look, I can hear my staff saying ‘be careful,’ but here’s the situation: this money is explicitly prioritizing unserved and underserved. That doesn’t mean some of the money won’t go to places that already have coverage – and by the way that competition will bring down prices and that’s not a bad thing – but what I will commit to you is we are not going to spend money on quote-on-quote ‘overbuilding’ until, first, we are certain that everyone who’s unserved and underserved has coverage. That’s the whole point of the program.
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