The House Small Business Committee has scheduled a hearing for July 18 on the impact of broadband access, or the lack thereof, on small businesses and it has lined up Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski, among others, to weigh in.
Also on the list of witnesses for the hearing, Digital Divide: Expanding Broadband Access to Small Businesses, are former FCC commissioner and current Rural Utilities Service administrator Jonathan Adelstein and National Telecommunications and Information Administration chief Larry Strickling. Strickling and Adelstein's agencies are responsible for handing out and overseeing billions in broadband stimulus money.
The hearing is on the role of the federal government in expanding broadband to small business, particularly in rural areas.
"[U]nfortunately, providing coverage to rural and underserved areas has been a challenge for the private sector and federal government," said Committee chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) in a statement. "This hearing will provide an opportunity to discuss this problem, and the proper role of the federal government in addressing it."