Senate Guts Broadband Data Bill

from the not-so-special-after-all dept

You may have heard recently about the new Broadband Data Improvement Act, passing through Congress, as it basically put into law what the FCC had already decided: the cutoff for what should be considered broadband needed to be raised, and the data collection methods for broadband penetration needed to be updated, from the clearly bogus methodology it currently uses.

Sounds good, right?

Except, as Broadband Reports lets us know, in moving from the House to the Senate, some Senators took the opportunity to gut the bill of most of its important parts. That is, it took away all funding for the FCC to actually measure broadband penetration in the US and took away the mandate to create a broadband penetration mapping solution. In other words, the Broadband Data Improvement Act has removed the ability for the FCC to improve broadband data.

Now, you could argue that the FCC shouldn't be wasting money on measuring this sort of stuff, but if you happen to believe that broadband is critical infrastructure these days, and an enabler of many other industries that drive economic growth, you can make a reasonable argument for why the government should have accurate data on broadband penetration, to make sure that we're not falling too far behind other countries.

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