Brian Weiss

USTelecom Statement on Bipartisan House Broadband Mapping Bill

Background: Today, Reps. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the accuracy of the FCC’s broadband availability maps. The ‘Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act’ will improve the accuracy of FCC broadband data maps by changing the way broadband data is collected.

The legislation is similar to the USTelecom-supported ‘Broadband DATA Act’ introduced in the Senate by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI) and John Thune (R-SD).

The following statement can be attributed to Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of USTelecom:

“USTelecom appreciates the clear path set by Reps. Loebsack and Latta to finally improve the obsolete maps preventing homes and businesses in rural America from getting the service they deserve. This legislation is a giant step forward to ensuring agencies, policymakers and providers have reliable data to connect more communities to the power and promise of broadband, while ensuring every dollar of federal broadband support goes to consumers who need it. Combined with the bipartisan work in the Senate and support at the FCC and throughout the federal and state governments, we are optimistic that better national broadband maps will soon be a reality.”

Representing a major evolution in the way broadband service is mapped in the United States, USTelecom and a diverse consortium of broadband companies and associations created the Broadband Mapping Initiative in March 2019 to more accurately map broadband deployment nationwide. Last month, USTelecom released results of its mapping pilot program, revealing as many as 38 percent of total rural locations (445,000+) in census blocks reported as ‘served’ with current FCC Form 477 are actually unserved by any pilot participants. Learn more HERE.