Coming off the Pelican Institute’s second annual Solutions Summit, where policy experts from across the state and nation gathered to discuss important policy issues in Louisiana, the Pelican Institute released two statements on closing the digital divide by providing Louisianans access to affordable broadband internet.

The Pelican Center for Technology and Innovation recently signed onto a letter with groups across the nation encouraging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to speedily undertake the public auction of C-band spectrum. The C-band is an important spectrum, which is where wireless signals travel, to the deployment of 5G (5th generation) network technology. This 5G technology can not only help close the digital divide in Louisiana but also encourage the innovation of technologies which will make everyone’s life in the state better. The Pelican Institute recently released a video highlighting some of the benefits of 5G technology, though there were many more not included in the list.

Previously, the Pelican Institute also praised U.S. Senator John Kennedy for his push for a public auction of the C-band spectrum. We continue to encourage him to work with the FCC to ensure a speedy auction, as well as to speed up the deployment of 5G technology.

The Pelican Institute is also pleased to see the FCC’s recent proposal regarding the updating of TV white space rules to expand connectivity for rural Americans.

TV white space is a TV spectrum currently not in use for authorized services, such as viewing over the air channels. This unused space has the potential to deliver broadband level speeds to rural areas, where traditional fiber and fixed wireless may not be able to reach residents. White space can reach greater distances and penetrate thick tree cover, two of the largest impediments to delivering broadband speeds to rural and underserved areas.

However, in order to be able to accomplish these critical functions, the rules must be updated as proposed by the FCC. The Pelican Center for Technology and Innovation applauds this proposal and recommend it be adopted with great haste.

The Pelican Center for Technology and Innovation is encouraged by the FCC’s efforts and will continue to work with both federal and state lawmakers to increase broadband deployment to ensure Louisiana is benefiting from the 21st century economy.

If you want to learn more about how the FCC is helping states like Louisiana get connected, check our Daniel Erspamer’s interview with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai here.Click here to view the letter we signed onto regarding the C-band auction.