On Tuesday, the House passed the Broadband Census of America Act (HR 3919) which calls for the creation of a national, searchable broadband availability map that will allow consumers to find which service providers are available in their areas and authorizes funds for grants to local planning entities to increase broadband deployment and usage on the local level. Rep. Markey, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, said, “Our nation’s ability to compete in the high speed broadband world is essential to our economic future. Unfortunately, many of our global competitors are speeding down the broadband highway while America’s broadband struggles to keep up with outdated infrastructure. But we can’t catch up without better information about existing broadband service and deployment. This broadband mapping bill reflects the fact that current data collection methods used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are inadequate and highly flawed. We must have more reliable information about broadband deployment and consumer adoption as a first step in developing any comprehensive blueprint for America’s broadband future. Moreover, local planning grants will permit such communities to effectively organize to spur deployment and usage of broadband services in local areas,” Markey added.

* Public Knowledge: “This bill is a vital building block to a more informed broadband policy. The FCC for too long has used antiquated measurements to give an unrealistic picture of which areas have access to needed broadband services and which do not. We commend Chairman Markey and his colleagues for their leadership.”

[SOURCE: Benton]

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isoc member since 1995

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