The CCA Voice - Fall/Winter 2016 - 62

CONGRESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) S enator Joe Manchin is known for working in the spirit of bipartisanship to find commonsense solutions to the problems facing our country and takes this approach to his work on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation. He has served in the U.S. Senate since 2010 and has previously served in the W.V. House and Senate, as well as W.V. Secretary of State. Most recently before joining the U.S. Senate, he served as Governor of W.V. from 2004-2010. Steven K. Berry : You have been a champion for expanding mobile broadband in rural areas, including West Virginia. What policies can help advance mobile broadband coverage? Senator Manchin: Representing a rural state, I know all too well how important access to communication services is. First as Governor and now as Senator, I have advocated for policies to reform universal service programs that will fully bring West Virginia and rural America into the 21st century. That includes delivering on the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) universal service mandate by moving forward on the next phase of the Mobility Fund, the wireless component of the Universal Service Fund (USF). Significant gaps in mobile broadband coverage still exist in West Virginia and across rural America. As part of my effort to close these gaps, I called on the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on improving USF support for rural America and followed up with a bipartisan letter urging the FCC to work with us to achieve that goal. The wireless industry has made great strides in building out mobile broadband infrastructure, especially in rural states, but the job is not done. We must properly target support to the areas that need it most so that companies can generate a fair return on their investments and sustainably serve high cost areas like many places in rural America. : When I testified before the Commerce Committee hearing earlier this year, we agreed that numbers claiming the United States is fully or 99 percent served were false or misleading. What can be done to get better data on mobile broadband coverage? Senator Manchin: Anybody who claims the United States is fully or almost entirely served should come see the reality of coverage throughout West Virginia. Unfortunately, inaccurate data has failed rural and remote communities across this country. For this reason I have been actively working with my colleagues to ensure the FCC is able to gather a more accurate picture of the actual coverage available to rural Americans. 62 THE VOICE * * Fall/Winter 2016 I authored two provisions to help the FCC get better mobile broadband coverage data. The first would study the viability of conducting drive testing in rural areas to map where coverage exists, and, even more importantly, where it still needs to be delivered. The second would take a hard look at whether additional mobile coverage data should be collected from alternative commercial sources. : How does access to mobile broadband impact your constituents? Senator Manchin: The importance of mobile broadband is only growing. Reliable mobile broadband coverage is critical for West Virginia's hospitals, farmers and law enforcement officials. In a rural state, people are used to traveling several hours to access healthcare. Allowing doctors to remotely advise their patients with dependable mobile broadband coverage would improve the quality and reliability of care for many West Virginians. That same coverage also is essential for new precision agriculture and public safety technologies. It's unfortunate that the communities who need these improvements the most are often the last to get them. I am committed to this effort until the most remote and challenging areas in our country gain the reliable service they deserve. : How important is it for CCA members to engage with you as you consider issues before the Commerce Committee? Senator Manchin: I believe in the idea that every American, no matter their age, income, or area code must have access to advanced communications services. It is very important for me to hear from CCA members, who spend every day working to provide these services to our rural communities. As a former businessman, it is valuable to hear what we do can help your company serve the American public. We need to continue to work together on commonsense policies and reforms that reflect the reality on the ground rather than relying on incomplete or inaccurate maps so that we can truly achieve the goal of universal service.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The CCA Voice - Fall/Winter 2016

Board of Directors/Staff
Chairman’s Letter by Slayton Stewart
A Message from the President & CEO by Steven K. Berry
CCA’s 2016 Excellence in Marketing Awards
Next-Generation IoT: Revolutionizing Mission-Critical Connectivity
What 100 Operators Really Think About 5G
5G Is Here (If You Want It)
Five Trends Shaping the Future of Spectrum
5G, A Technology Vision
Cloud-based IP: The Way to 5G and the Internet of Things
Power Outages Don’t Belong in a Connected World
The Path to 5G: Challenges, Benefits and Endless Possibilities
The Evolution to 5G: Implementing the Next Generation of Wireless Networks
New Report Details One Year of Roaming Fraud Data to Add to Industry Knowledge
Better Data for Brand Evolution
Verticals: At the End of the 5G Rainbow
Over-the-Top International Wi-Fi Calling and Messaging
SmartCom Brings 4G LTE to Belize
In the Dugout with Kevin Cundiff, Creator of Retail Moneyball
Company Profiles
Index of Advertisers.
Congressional Spotlight: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

The CCA Voice - Fall/Winter 2016