Telecommunications & Technology Steering Committee

All matters pertaining to telecommunications and technology policy, including, but not limited to, the county role as a telecommunications regulator, service provider, and consumer, cable services technology and implementation, information technology development and implementation, information technology innovation, e-governance, and geo-spatial data collection and utilization.

Policy Briefs

Support the Accelerating Broadband Development By Empowering Local Communities Act of 2019

ACTION NEEDED:

Urge your members of Congress to support and cosponsor the Accelerating Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communities Act of 2019 (H.R. 530 / S. 2012). Introduced by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) on January 14, 2019, the legislation would effectively rescind the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 5G broadband deployment rule – Streamlining Deployment of Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order, which NACo opposed.

BACKGROUND:

On September 26, 2018, the FCC approved a new rule on 5G wireless network deployment that significantly restricts local authority. The FCC decision not only limits fees local governments may assess telecommunications companies for the placement of wireless service facilities and constrains local governments to 60 days to evaluate applications from wireless companies to attach 5G Small Cells to existing structures and 90 days to review applications for equipment on entirely new structures.

By narrowing the window for evaluating 5G deployment applications, the FCC rule would prevent local governments from properly assessing and mitigating the impact broadcasting facilities may have on the public health, safety and welfare of the community.

PDF icon June 2019 HR 530.pdf

Support the State and Local Cyber Protection Act of 2017

ACTION NEEDED:

Urge your members of Congress to support the bipartisan State Cyber Resiliency Act of 2017 (H.R. 1344/S. 516). First introduced by Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) in the House, and Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) in the Senate, the legislation would create a new federal grant program designed to assist state and local governments in protecting our digital assets against the threat of cyber-attacks or data breaches.

BACKGROUND:

Local governments across the country are responsible for ensuring that our citizens’ personal information, historical records and critical infrastructure are adequately protected, recoverable and secured in the event of a data breach or cyber-attack.

While many county governments across the country are working to deploy modern technology to provide new online services in their communities, our responsibility is more urgent than ever, as we face increasing cyber threats from multiple sources on a daily basis. These threats are only becoming more sophisticated, and require proactive investments to prevent and mitigate potential damage to our nation’s digital infrastructure and information systems.

Given the seriousness of the threat, and that each of our nation’s 3,069 counties contends with varied resources and challenges, it is important that Congress support local governments as we develop and improve techniques for preventing, mitigating and responding to cyber-attacks.

PDF icon State and Local Cyber Protection Act Fact Sheet - 2018 Leg Conference.pdf

First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Moving Forward

ACTION NEEDED:

Counties should continue to engage with their state’s designated Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for FirstNet to provide information on how emergency communications in your county can be improved as FirstNet continues to advance their efforts to build their nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).  

BACKGROUND:

In February 2012, Congress enacted The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96), which mandated the creation of a nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network that will enable police, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals and other public safety officials to more effectively communicate with each other during emergencies and use new technology to improve response time, keep communities safe and save lives. 

The law created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Congress charged FirstNet to take “all actions necessary” to build, deploy and operate the network, in consultation with federal, state, tribal and local public policy entities.

PDF icon FirstNet 2017-LC.pdf

Important Role of Counties in the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)

PDF icon 2015_Spring_FirstNet_Fact-Sheet.pdf

Latest Resources

  • Reports & Toolkits | Jan. 13, 2020

    NACo works to preserve local decision making, protect counties from unfunded mandates and preemption and strengthen the federal-state-local partnership.

  • Reports & Toolkits | Dec. 22, 2019

    Nearly three months after the start of fiscal year (FY) 2020, congressional leaders were able to reach an agreement on a two-part spending deal that will fund the federal government through September 30, 2020. President Trump signed the two packages (H.R. 1865; H.R.

  • Reports & Toolkits | Aug. 2, 2019

    The August recess in the federal legislative calendar provides a unique opportunity for county leaders to communicate with members of Congress, demonstrate the impact of your efforts in your communities and advocate for the federal programs that help to strengthen local programs and initiatives.

Join a steering committee and make a difference. Learn more about getting involved in NACo's Telecommunications & Technology Steering Committee:

Telecommunications and Technology Steering Committee

Chair

J.D. Clark
County Judge
Wise County, Texas

 

Vice Chair

Joe Atkins
Commissioner
Dakota County, Minnesota

 

Joe Briggs
Commissioner
Cascade County, Montana

 

Terry Hall
Chief, Emergency Communications
York County, Virginia

 

Lily Morgan
Commissioner
Josephine County, Oregon

 

Joe Mullins
Commissioner
Flagler County, Florida

 

Patricia O'Bannon
Supervisor
Henrico County, Virginia

 

Nancy Thrash
Commissioner
Lamar County, Georgia