WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today applauded the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) decision to reverse course and expand the accessibility of the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program to unconnected regions across the country by allowing alternatives to the program’s Letter of Credit (LOC) requirement. Previously, the BEAD program’s LOC requirement would have prevented Internet Service Providers best positioned to connect unserved and underserved Americans from participating in the BEAD program.
Last week, Senator Capito joined 13 of her colleagues in sending a letter—led by U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.)—urging Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson to consider alternatives to the BEAD program’s LOC requirement. Full text of the letter is available here.
“It’s welcome news to see the Department of Commerce and NTIA recognize the restrictive and unnecessary requirements put on the BEAD program and make needed changes before it limited West Virginia’s ability to take full advantage of this opportunity. While I was helping craft and negotiate the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, broadband was top of mind, and making this support accessible was a priority. Our Internet Service Providers in West Virginia work tirelessly to connect our state with the broadband service they deserve, and I’m proud to use my voice to make needed resources more available to them,” Senator Capito said.
Established in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the BEAD Program is the largest federal broadband investment in United States history, providing $1.2 billion to West Virginia to expand high-speed internet access through planning, infrastructure deployment, and adoption programs across the country.
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