For folks in rural areas, innovations in telemedicine improve health and quality of life. A federal net neutrality law could spur investment in telehealth by ensuring startups and investors know they won’t have to pay for special access to online fast lanes. Congress has debated net neutrality for over a decade without passing legislation. A bipartisan solution is overdue.
Advances in telemedicine will only benefit those Montanans with the broadband connections required to access them. In too many rural areas of our state, broadband infrastructure is inadequate or non-existent. As lawmakers in Washington continue to debate net neutrality, any legislation must avoid creating hurdles to broadband infrastructure investment. Unfortunately, the legislative debate this year has focused on reclassifying broadband under utility rules from the 1930s, which experts warn would discourage broadband investment in rural areas.
You have free articles remaining.
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, are leading a bipartisan effort to permanently protect net neutrality and create a modern regulatory framework for broadband services that encourages the network investment we urgently need in our state.
Montana’s senators should consider joining that working group. Telehealth deserves the protection of a permanent net neutrality law, but not at the expense of rural broadband.