CCAGW Urges Senate to Oppose BRIDGES Act | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Senate to Oppose BRIDGES Act

Letters to Officials

June 17, 2021
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510


Dear Senator,

            The Broadband Reform and Investment to Drive Growth in the Economy Act of 2021 (BRIDGE Act) was introduced on June 15, 2021, by Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Angus King (I-Maine), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).  On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I strongly urge you not to cosponsor or vote in favor of this legislation.

            Instead of helping to bridge the digital divide in unserved and underserved communities across the nation, this legislation will increase the federal government’s footprint in broadband deployment and preempt state laws restricting government-owned networks that prevent taxpayer dollars being used to overbuild existing broadband deployment.  The legislation also includes rate-setting for internet service providers that provide broadband services to low-income households and imposes build-out requirements that indicate a preference for one specific technology (fiber), as opposed to being technology and vendor neutral.  As Citizens Against Government Waste stated in their issue brief The Folly of Government-Owned Networks, money provided by the government for network development should not designate a single technology or set a preference for government-owned networks.  The BRIDGE Act allows states to designate areas as unserved, underserved and as qualifying areas based on data provided by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Broadband DATA Act, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or from state databases, which would lead to inconsistent results across the country and show many areas as underserved that already have access to the internet.  Congress approved $98 million for the FCC to update its maps and made it clear that those maps should be the only reference for broadband deployment.

            The BRIDGE Act would be costly, wasteful, and fail to achieve its objective of bridging the digital divide. I strongly urge you not to cosponsor or otherwise support the BRIDGE Act, which will hurt taxpayers and fall short of achieving its goals.  All votes related to the BRIDGE Act may be among those considered for CCAGW’s 2021 Congressional Ratings.



Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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