Rep. Markwayne Mullin toured a self-supporting American Tower Corporation tower in Muskogee, Oklahoma in his congressional district on Monday. The Wireless Industry Network (WIN) of the National Association of Tower Erectors and American Tower Corporation helped arrange the event, which was designed to highlight the prominent role that telecommunications technicians and wireless infrastructure are playing in the industry’s efforts to deploy ubiquitous 5G broadband coverage.
Mullin represents Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District and is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee where he has championed communications and workforce development legislation. “The Second District of Oklahoma is the only congressional district in the country where broadband is available to less than half the population,” Mullin said. “We must work to ensure rural areas are not stranded and that rural Americans are not left behind in the internet economy.”
Mullin learned from local companies about the workforce challenges confronting the industry. He’s the lead Republican cosponsor of H.R. 1848, Communications Jobs Training Act of 2019, which would help reduce the workforce shortage by creating a grant program to train more people to do the work of servicing, constructing, and maintaining communication towers. Introduced in the 116th Congress by Mullin and Dave Loebsack (D-IA), NATE supports the legislation.
During the tour, Mullin heard about the multi-carrier tenant network equipment that is installed on the tower. He discussed with participants the work that is conducted daily to build, maintain and deploy cell tower sites and related wireless infrastructure. Mullin also got to see first-hand the harness and personal protective equipment gear that tower technicians use to carry out their jobs in a safe and efficient manner. NATE member B+T Group conducted a drone flight demonstration for Mullin to highlight the enhanced role that unmanned aerial systems technology is playing at communication sites.
“On behalf of NATE’s seven member companies in the 2nd Congressional District and twenty-nine member companies in the state of Oklahoma, we appreciate the leadership role Rep. Mullin is playing in Congress to promote workforce development and support policies that serve to streamline industry regulations that are critical to help the United States maintain our position as the global leader in 5G,” said NATE WIN Oklahoma State Liaison Christy Hall from Texoma Contracting, Inc.
Bud Noel, Senior Vice President of Operations, U.S. Tower Division, American Tower, said, “As demand for better nationwide connectivity grows, we continue to work with our customers to support their transition to 5G and to partner with organizations such as NATE and WIN that are helping drive wireless industry development across the country. We thank the congressman for his work on this legislation.”
August 27, 2019
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