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Simington Supports WISPA BEAD Program Concerns

FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington said he agrees with Wireless ISP Association members' concerns that the broadband, equity, access and deployment program is biased in favor of fiber. WISPA members have been asking the administration to rethink parts of the program…

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(see 2302090063). “The definitions adopted by NTIA have, unfortunately, stacked the deck in favor of fiber deployments -- in places where fiber will likely take years to build out, if it’s even possible, whether because of the difficulties presented by the terrain in specific areas, the lack of infrastructure for supporting fiber, or competition for limited fiber supplies from more densely populated markets,” Simington told a WISPA conference Wednesday: “We must reconsider this approach if we wish for rural America to keep pace with the rest of the U.S and the U.S with the rest of the world.” Administration policies ignore what WISPs have been able to do in hard-to-serve areas “in favor of pie-in-the-sky ideals about fiber’s technological superiority or the necessity of 100 Mbps symmetry for all broadband networks,” Simington said.