VOL. 13, NO. 18
May 8, 2017
Sen. Capito Introduces
Gigabit Opportunity Act
On May 2, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), introduced the Gigabit Opportunity Act (GO Act), which is designed to accelerate the development of high-speed internet in low-income and rural communities. The act "expands broadband in these communities by targeting investments to areas with the greatest need, eliminating barriers to investment and streamlining patchwork regulations."

The GO Act:
  • Targets investments to areas poised for growth: The GO Act directs investments to low-income and rural communities with the greatest potential for economic development by providing tax deferral and immediate expensing for companies investing in gigabit-capable broadband expansion.
  • Streamlines patchwork regulations: The GO Act directs the FCC to release a framework that encourages states, counties and cities to voluntarily adopt streamlined broadband laws and be designated as a "Gigabit Opportunity Zone."
  • Eliminates barriers to investment: The GO Act temporarily defers capital gains for broadband investments and upgrades, and allows companies to immediately expense the cost of gigabit-capable equipment in "Gigabit Opportunity Zones." The GO Act also allows states to issue tax-exempt bonds without a low-income geographic requirement.
INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering offered his support of the legislation, saying "For rural and low-income communities to be able to take advantage of the broadband economy we need new networks in new places. We thank Sen. Capito for her leadership, and look forward to working with her to help bring faster speeds and more choices to families and small businesses across America."
Senate Commerce Committee Holds Broadband Hearing
On May 3, U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, held a hearing on  Investing in America's Broadband Infrastructure: Exploring Ways to Reduce Barriers to Deployment. This hearing explored solutions to streamline broadband deployment and infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and examined how to encourage private investment in next-generation telecommunications services. Witnesses included:
  • Patricia Cooper, vice president of Satellite Government Affairs, SpaceX
  • Larry Downes, project director, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy
  • Brian Hendricks, head of Technology Policy & Public Affairs for the Americas Region, Nokia Corp.
  • Mayor Gary Resnick, City of Wilton Manors, Fla.
  • State Rep. Jeff Weninger, Arizona House of Representatives
Witness statements and video of the hearing can be found on the Commerce Committee website.
Webinar Archives: Sharetracker Discusses IoT Research
If you missed ShareTracker's webinar last week about Internet of Things (IoT) research results, you can download the presentation from the INCOMPAS Webinar Program archives