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Wicker Calls for Expanded Broadband Access for Rural Areas

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help make broadband internet access more widely available in rural communities.
Wicker, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, conducted a hearing earlier this week on the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) in rural areas and the infrastructure required to ensure wider IoT access.
Speaking before the committee, Michael Adcock, Executive Director of the Telehealth Center at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), highlighted ways in which IoT improves accessibility, quality and affordability of healthcare in rural Mississippi. In October, the Health Resources and Services Administration designated UMMC as a Telehealth Center of Excellence.
In his opening statement, Wicker said, “The Internet of Things encompasses a diverse market of internet-connected devices, machines and physical objects. Over the past few years, we have seen an increasing number of physical objects, like refrigerators and washing machines, take on ‘smarter’ capabilities through internet-connected sensors. Internet connectivity enables these things to collect data and share actionable insights to consumers and businesses alike. This information allows the user to be more productive, efficient and cost-effective. It is changing our economy.”
Wicker said it’s “vitally important” that the FCC “take steps to ensure that the Universal Service Fund program provide adequate and predictable support to help preserve and expand broadband in rural and underserved communities … We should ensure the delivery of essential communications services to communities in need first.”
Expanded internet access can have a positive economic impact on communities, Wicker noted. “The Internet of Things marks an exciting space for digital innovation in this country. There is significant economic potential associated with these technological developments.”
Watch the video below for the full text of Wicker’s remarks:

Special to HottyToddy.com.

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