US Senate Broadband Data Mapping Bill
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., John Thune, R-S.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act. The legislation would improve the accuracy of the FCC’s broadband availability maps by strengthening the process by which broadband data is collected.
Among other things, the bill:
- Requires the FCC to collect granular service availability data from wired, fixed wireless, and satellite broadband providers and create Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric to be updated at least annually.
- Requires strong parameters for service availability data collected from mobile broadband providers to ensure accuracy..
- Asks the FCC to consider whether to collect verified coverage data from state, local, and tribal governments, as well as from other entities.
- Creates a process for consumers, state, local, and Tribal governments, and other groups to challenge FCC maps with their own data, and requires the FCC to determine how to structure the process without making it overly burdensome on challengers.
“The FCC’s broadband maps are inaccurate, disadvantaging every taxpayer and rural areas across the country, including many places in my home state,” said Wicker. “This legislation is an important step to ensure we get the most accurate coverage maps from the FCC and to help close the digital divide between rural and urban areas.”
“Connecting a community to high-speed broadband opens new pathways for Michiganders to access educational resources, receive the health care they need or run a business,” said Peters. “By updating the FCC’s process for collecting broadband data, this bipartisan legislation aims to ensure we better assess broadband availability. With more accurate broadband maps, we can work to close the digital divide in rural and urban communities across Michigan.”
“Broadband maps are a critical tool in our effort to close the digital divide in rural areas like those throughout my home state of South Dakota, but they are only as good as the data that’s used to produce them,” said Thune. “Since data collection is a constantly evolving process, this bipartisan legislation would take the necessary steps to ensure the information that’s depended upon for accurate broadband mapping is as up to date and effective as possible. It’s important for Congress and federal agencies to stay at the forefront of this digital revolution, which is why I’m glad to support this bill, and I encourage my colleagues to do the same.”
“Broadband is key to keeping rural America competitive in the 21st century and beyond,” said Klobuchar. “This legislation will help close the digital divide with granular data collection for more accurate mapping so that we can bring high-speed internet to every family, regardless of their zip code.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: US Senate Broadband Data Mapping Bill, FTC Acts Against Companies Falsely Claiming EU-US Privacy Shield Compliance
FTC Acts Against Companies Falsely Claiming EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Compliance
In a press release the FTC announced that it reached a settlement with a background screening company over allegations it falsely claimed to be a participant in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield program. In separate actions, the FTC also sent warning letters to more than a dozen companies for falsely claiming participation in other international privacy agreements.
In its complaint, the FTC alleges that SecurTest, Inc., falsely claimed on its website that it participated in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks, which establish processes to allow companies to transfer consumer data from European Union countries and Switzerland to the United States in compliance with EU and Swiss law, respectively.
FTC Warns Other Companies
The FTC also sent warning letters to 13 companies that falsely claimed they participate in the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor frameworks, which were replaced in 2016 by the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks, respectively. These Safe Harbor agreements are no longer in force, and the last valid self-certifications for either agreement have expired.
The FTC called on the 13 companies to remove from their websites, privacy policies, or any other public documents any statements claiming they participate in either Safe Harbor agreement. If the companies fail to take action within 30 days, the FTC warned it would take appropriate legal action.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.