Manchin puts hold on FCC nominee until chairman guarantees broadband funding for W.Va.

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Broadband

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) put a hold on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) nominee Brendan Carr this week.

Last week, the FCC announced that they were indefinitely pausing the release of $4.5 billion through Mobility Fund Phase II. Over the past three years, Senator Manchin has fought to reallocate this funding to places like West Virginia that are the hardest and most expensive to serve.

“Last week the FCC finally recognized that their broadband maps were inaccurate. That’s something that I have been saying since day one,” Manchin said. “But the answer is not to put the Mobility Fund on an indefinite hold that prevents states like West Virginia from receiving the funding they desperately need to deploy mobile broadband.

“That’s why I am putting a hold on Brendan Carr’s nomination until FCC Chairman Ajit Pai can show me how states like West Virginia can access the broadband funding we need to close the digital divide. I was one of the more than 100 challengers who invested time and energy trying to make the Mobility Fund process work.

“If the Chairman feels he needs to put the brakes on this program at this stage of the game, I need to put the brakes on the confirmation of his next Commissioner until he can show me where we’re supposed to go from here.”

The FCC announced they were putting the Mobility Fund Phase II on hold because it became apparent that the broadband connectivity maps that broadband providers submitted to the FCC were inaccurate, something that Senator Manchin has said from the beginning.

Senator Manchin was the only Member of Congress to submit a formal challenge to the Mobility Fund Phase II initial eligible areas map. The data Senator Manchin submitted proves the coverage map released by the FCC does not accurately depict broadband coverage throughout West Virginia. Senator Manchin was the only member of Congress to submit a formal challenge.

In May, the FCC granted Senator Manchin a waiver to participate as a challenger in the Mobility Fund Phase II challenge process, to make sure that broadband coverage maps in West Virginia are accurate.

To read Senator Manchin’s waiver request, click here.