ACA Connects and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association–submitted joint comments in support of a proposal to streamline historic preservation review processes and give communication providers more flexibility to deploy federally funded broadband infrastructure projects.
In comments to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, ACA Connects and NTCA supported a streamlined process for communications providers’ installation of certain categories of wireline and wireless communications infrastructure on federal lands and property and encouraged the agency to conduct extensive outreach to Federal agencies, including field office staff, to promote the new process.
“ACA Connects applauds this effort to streamline the historic preservation review process and reduce regulatory burdens on communication providers, especially those in smaller markets and rural areas,” said ACA Connects President and CEO Grant Spellmeyer. “It will help ensure that our Members can utilize game changing broadband funding, like in the BEAD program, more effectively and efficiently to close the digital divide once and for all.”
“The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program is poised to deliver historic levels of funding for broadband deployment, which will in turn create unprecedented demand for permits and other approvals,” said NTCA Executive Vice President Mike Romano. “As these projects get underway, it will be critical to balance important historic preservation considerations and minimizing burdens and delays in network construction. NTCA appreciates ACHP’s efforts to strike this balance and streamline permitting processes so that broadband providers can more efficiently connect rural communities.”
About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 500 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, video, and phone services covering 23 million customers, 6 million of which are located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. ACA Connects Members operate in every state, providing advanced communications to connect homes, companies, main street, schools, hospitals and more. America’s economic prosperity in smaller communities and rural areas depends on the growth and success of ACA Connects Members, who believe a connected nation is a prosperous nation.