WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) introduced the Reducing Antiquated Permitting for Infrastructure Deployments (RAPID) Act, instructing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to review outdated, overly-cumbersome regulations that inhibit timely approval for broadband deployment projects. This legislation directs the FCC, under its preexisting authority, to reexamine and revise deployments that are subject to review by the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act within a 180 day period with the goal of speeding up broadband project approval.
“The most responsible and effective way to close the growing digital gap is to grant broadband providers the opportunity to advance deployment projects without having to deal with unnecessarily complicated and duplicative federal mandates,” said Sen. Moran. “The RAPID Act would direct the FCC to swiftly review and modernize these burdensome regulations to promote innovation and encourage broadband deployment. By cutting excessive red tape, providers can more quickly get Kansans and Americans the access they need while improving American competitiveness in this innovative sector.”
“The United States is the global leader in wireless technology, and maintaining that position is more important than ever as new technologies promise to deliver innovative new services for families across America,” said Whip Scalise. “Federal regulations that deal with broadband deployment need to be streamlined to reflect modern technology while also protecting consumers, and doing so will ensure that America will remain the world’s leader in technology innovation and job creation.”
“The introduction of legislation by Senator Moran and Congressman Scalise has the potential to bring immediate regulatory relief to telecommunications providers, like Sprint, as we make significant investments in our wireless infrastructure and prepare for the deployment of next-generation 5G networks,” said Sprint Corporation Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Vonya B. McCann. “These balanced approach will pave the way towards reducing federal regulations that impose excessive costs and unnecessary delays to small cell deployment. We applaud these efforts and are committed to working with others in Congress to ensure this legislation’s success.”
“Senator Moran and Representative Scalise recognize that the United States is locked in a global race to deploy next generation 5G wireless networks and that modernizing outdated federal rules will spur new investment, innovation and job creation,” said CTIA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Kelly Cole. “The RAPID Act is a common sense measure directing the FCC to update its rules to keep pace with new technology and we look forward to its swift approval by both chambers.”
“I applaud Senator Moran and Representative Scalise for their leadership on wireless broadband deployment and for their introduction of the RAPID Act,” said Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr. “Senator Moran and Representative Scalise recognize that we need to incentivize even greater broadband deployment, including in rural communities. Their RAPID Act would help do exactly that by ensuring that we modernize outdated regulatory approaches. This effort can help unleash next-generation innovation and increase broadband deployment for all Americans.”