RALEIGH Republican state lawmaker Rep. Jason Saine of Lincoln County has been named to the Federal Communications Committee’s (FCC) Intergovernmental Advisory Panel.The Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IAC) is a two-year advisory panel that will focus its efforts on recommendations to the FCC on broadband and wireless infrastructure deployment, Universal Service programs, consumer complaints processes and public safety issues. It may be renewed for an additional two-year term at the discretion of the FCC.In an interview Saine said he looks forward to the opportunity to work with federal regulators and help them shape policy around broadband and wireless infrastructure, an area in which the lawmaker has been active in the N.C. General Assembly.”The IAC serves as an advisory board to the FCC to relay some of the challenges that state and local governments face with broadband deployment,” said Saine. “It provides a nice platform to interact with federal decision-makers on some of the policies that they’re setting forth and how they work and how they don’t work. Sometimes regulations are passed that they believe are helpful, but in reality they may be hurtful. This will allow me to work with federal regulators and keep them aware of the challenges facing Lincoln County and how to best address those issues.”Saine said his main focus will be to make sure the federal government understands the barriers federal regulations can represent to smaller towns and cities, many of which he represents in the N.C. House.He has plans to introduce legislation during the 2017 session of the General Assembly that paves the way for telecommunications companies to deploy innovative wireless internet technology, using existing infrastructure, to rural areas that fall short of the typical scales required for more significant private broadband investments. Discovering ways to allow for private entities to profitably serve low population density rural areas will be a focus of Saine’s role on the IAC.”What we really want to do is get government regulation out of the way so that you can see private enterprise expand broadband options,” said Saine. “I hear from leaders across the state from municipalities and counties who want more high-speed broadband because they feel as though it would help their economic development and recruitment.”The first meeting of the IAC is not yet scheduled, but Saine says he is excited about working with a business-friendly Trump administration that he hopes will be receptive to free-market innovations to offer more technology in more places across the state.
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