Rockefeller: Rural residents "shortchanged" on broadband and wireless services

Rockefeller said the shortcomings have been magnified by an FCC system that focuses on the size of the carrier rather than the needs of the service area. He cited the April explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine, where rescue workers and family members found it difficult to coordinate communications because they lacked access to wireless phone services.

"I believe that the time has come to fix this. Inequities in basic infrastructure, like the ones exposed by the mining disaster in West Virginia, are profoundly unacceptable," Rockefeller noted. 

"Everyone in this country, no matter who they are or where they live, deserves access to modern communications services, including broadband and wireless services," he added.