News - May 24 , 2023

INCOMPAS Supports Measure to Stop Railroad Robbery

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 24, 2023 - INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, released the following statement in response to Congressman Troy Balderson's amendment to the broadband permitting package being considered before the House Energy and Commerce committee today: 

“It is a phenomenal moment for the broadband industry and the future of our country. Between the billions of dollars of public funding and robust private investment, we are at a pivotal moment when it comes to connecting Americans in all corners of the country," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering. "However, there are still far too many barriers to deployment - one of the biggest being railroad crossings. Currently, members of our association have faced outrageous costs and a glacial permitting pace that is slowing broadband deployment and making it more expensive.

“Unfortunately, there has never been a nationwide policy framework to address this issue. Railroads can treat any provider who tries to cross their tracks however they may choose," Pickering continued. "While there are a handful of state laws on the books to address this issue, it is critical that we create a national standard as a backstop across the nation where state law doesn’t currently protect network providers and broadband consumers from being run over by the railroads.

“We believe Congressman Balderson’s commonsense solution will tackle this issue head on and is a vital step to help remedy a significant roadblock to broadband deployment. We are pleased the Committee adopted the amendment which will help us cross the tracks, end the railroad holdup and close the digital divide.”