LUFKIN – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today met with leaders from the Deep East Texas Council of Governments and Economic Development District (DETCOG), a voluntary association of local governments in the 11 county region encompassing all of Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties to discuss the inefficiency and inaccessibility of broadband in these communities.
About the visit, Sen. Cruz said:
“It was a pleasure to sit down today with leaders in East Texas to discuss the needs of their communities. One of those needs is broadband, which is critically important for people to access the world. In Texas, where we have a lot of rural communities, we need to see more access to broadband. And we do that by removing regulatory barriers and making it easier for the private sector to deploy capital to meet those needs. The Senate Commerce Committee—which I’m ranking member of—makes sure federal funds go to truly underserved and rural communities. I’m proud to work with DETCOG to help expand access to broadband so we can ensure more jobs and more opportunities are available to people in rural East Texas.”
DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt said:
“We appreciate Sen. Cruz taking time out of his day to come and visit with our local officials. I was fortunate to sit in on the discussion and there was a lot of give and take that allowed him to hear directly from our local city and county leaders about issues that are of concern in our communities of Deep East Texas. It allowed him to just communicate with us—the folks back home—to let us know what he’s doing to try to help us and then hear about issues we have that we need more help with.”
Accessible and reliable broadband is critical need for many Texas communities. That’s why Sen. Cruz:
· Authored the bipartisan E-FRONTIER Act, which would put into place protections for commercial 5G broadband networks from nationalization without explicit authorization from Congress.
· Urged Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move any broadband-related provisions through the Senate’s committee process. Billions of dollars have been appropriated to multiple agencies to expand broadband access across the country, but no formal accounting has been conducted to evaluate how or where that money has been spent.
· Called for reforms to the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, which has imposed skyrocketing tax burdens on America consumers to fund a series of inefficient broadband programs.