March 10, 2020
Background: Today, the Senate unanimously passed the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act. Introduced by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the bill will create a new national broadband map. Companion legislation passed the House and now heads to the President for his signature.
The following statement can be attributed to Jonathan Spalter, President and CEO of USTelecom:
“The House and now the Senate have both decisively acted to transform the country’s outdated broadband maps to get a clearer picture of who has – and who still lacks – access to broadband, the 21st century’s indispensable resource. Under the leadership of Senators Wicker, Peters, Thune and Klobuchar, Congress has adopted a data-driven plan to modernize the national broadband coverage maps with the express purpose of increasing deployment in rural America.
“USTelecom members are proud to have played a part in engineering this game-changing mapping plan – and have proven that it will work. Soon enough future federal broadband spending in rural America will finally be based on the most accurate and granular map we’ve ever had.”
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. In August, 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.