Arlington, VA — United States Senator Eric Schmitt today issued a stern letter to Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), addressing concerns over the BEAD (Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment) program’s attempts to implement rate regulation unlawfully. The BEAD program, designed to expand broadband in underserved areas, is now under scrutiny for practices that may limit its effectiveness and violate federal law.

You can read the full letter here.

Key Takeaways from Senator Schmitt’s Letter:

  • Statutory Misinterpretation: The NTIA is accused of conditioning federal BEAD funding on states enforcing a predetermined broadband rate, contrary to explicit congressional directives that prohibit such rate regulation.
  • Misleading Congressional Testimonies: Recent statements by NTIA officials, including during congressional hearings, have been called out as potentially misleading, with implications that contradict their public commitments to non-regulation.
  • Concerns Over State Compliance: The letter highlights a rigid and opaque approval process that may force states to adopt unwarranted price controls to access federal funds, potentially stifling competition and innovation.
  • Legal and Oversight Actions: Senator Schmitt warns of rigorous oversight and potential legal actions to ensure the NTIA adheres to the law and respects the statutory framework established by Congress.

Senator Schmitt urges the NTIA to immediately cease its efforts to impose rate regulations under the guise of the BEAD program. He emphasizes the need for transparency and adherence to the legislative intent, ensuring that the program effectively serves its purpose without overstepping legal boundaries.

“As a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the committee with direct oversight authority of NTIA, it is my priority to hold this Administration accountable for its propensity to act with impunity,” stated Senator Schmitt.

About Senator Eric Schmitt Senator Eric Schmitt serves on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and is committed to overseeing federal agencies to ensure they operate within their legal frameworks and effectively serve the American people.

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