New Sinema Bill Equips Arizonans for the Jobs of the Future

Aug 1, 2019

Senator’s bipartisan bill will prepare Arizonans for good-paying telecommunications jobs
WASHINGTON – Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema today introduced the TOWER Infrastructure Deployment Act—bipartisan legislation to prepare more Arizonans for good-paying jobs as the telecommunications industry deploys new technologies.
The bipartisan bill, which Sinema introduced with Republican Senator Cory Gardner (Colo.), will streamline and improve telecommunications workforce development, training more Arizonans to deploy 5G, lightning-fast broadband networks, and new broadcast technology.
“Our bill helps hardworking Arizonans gain the skills to succeed in the jobs of the future and helps bridge the digital divide in our state,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee.
Sinema is a longtime advocate for closing Arizona’s digital divide, working to ensure every Arizonan can access quality high-speed internet and the opportunities that come with it. In addition to directing private investment in rural broadband by championing the ACCESS Rural America Act in the U.S. House, Sinema signed a bipartisan letter to the FCC last year, urging them to make public investments to connect rural communities with dependable voice and internet services. Additionally, the Sinema-backed Broadband DATA Act recently passed the Senate Commerce Committee. The bill improves the accuracy of the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband availability maps by improving the process by which broadband data is collected. Broadband maps help inform where billions of dollars in federal broadband funds should be directed. Inaccurate maps delay spending and misdirect broadband funds to the wrong places.
As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sinema has spoken in hearings on the need to expand 3G connectivity in rural areas and improve broadband mapping. In February, Sinema shared the concerns of Arizonans living in Sunscape, an RV resort in Pinal County, who lacked reliable cell service. The residents could not reliably call 911 in the event of an emergency. Sinema underscored that in the conversation around 5G connectivity, all Arizonans must first have reliable 3G connectivity. Shortly after the hearing, Verizon Wireless confirmed they would build a cell tower to service the residents of Sunscape.