Telecommunications

Over the years, the telecommunications industry transformed individual communication and commerce. Smart phones have more capabilities today than most desktop computers had just a decade ago. Phone applications (apps) are improving lives by leaps and bounds, including in the health care and education sectors.

It's important that we utilize the many benefits of these tech advancements, but also understand and better address the problems that arise because of this technology.

One of my bills, the Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act, was designed to expand wireless broadband coverage in rural communities, to better connect our rural community. This legislation was signed into law as part of a larger bipartisan telecommunications-related package called RAY BAUM’s Act, which reauthorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), boosted the development of 5G technologies, and instituted other commonsense reforms in government.

I have also introduced legislation that would better allow licensed amateur radio operators, or hams, to serve as a force multiplier for emergency responders. During emergencies such as hurricanes or earthquakes, lines of communication often suffer, which makes it extremely difficult to coordinate emergency response efforts. Hams have a track record of selflessly supplementing the efforts of federal, state, and local officials to organize and better coordinate, all at no cost to the taxpayer.

Another issue we're tackling is bad robocalls and spamming. This is an area where we can all agree: robocalls are incredibly annoying. Worse, though, is that these calls can be dangerous as scammers look to extract sensitive information by impersonating government officials. Last week, we passed an anti-robocall bill and took a big step forward in putting a stop to this issue.