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Posted by Amy Gross on 10/14/19, 9:57 PM

us-capitol-building-and-congressBroadband Mapping Legislation Introduced 

Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) announced a package of legislation aimed at addressing broadband mapping practices and increasing speed standards in rural communities. The legislative package is comprised of two bills that empower communities to improve flawed broadband mapping procedures. The first, the Broadband Speed Act (HR 4641) would require internet service providers to annually report data to the FCC that shows the actual speeds they are capable of providing, as opposed to what they can potentially provide within 7-10 business days. This will help demonstrate to the FCC where broadband service is actually matching the speeds being advertised, and where there are still gaps in service. It would also require that new FCC funding awards be built out at speeds of 100 mbps or higher to ensure that they are built to last. 

 

The second bill, the Community Broadband Mapping Act (HR 4642), would allow local governments, electric/telephone cooperatives, economic development/community groups and small internet providers to access USDA Rural Utility Service broadband programs for grant funding that would allow them to collect information on local broadband service. This will allow communities who are currently incorrectly designated by the FCC as having service to take action to have the information necessary to dispute that status with the FCC in any future challenge process at the FCC or at the state level. 

 

“One week ago today, I brought FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks to hear from our community about the urgent need to address broadband issues in upstate New York – the takeaways were clear: we need to fix flawed broadband mapping protocol and future proof our broadband infrastructure to keep pace with the technology of tomorrow.” Rep. Delgado continued, “the bills I’m introducing today are a product of these important conversations and seek to address the issues of flawed maps that overstate internet access and speeds in rural communities. This legislative package will require more accurate data from internet service providers and ensure that new broadband service funded through the FCC will deliver internet at speeds required for the modern era. This legislation will also allow local governments and concerned citizens to challenge flawed FCC maps by gathering their own data—empowering them to figure out where there are coverage gaps. Our rural communities need broadband internet that is accessible, reliable, and matches their internet needs and these measures are important steps to closing the digital divide.” 

 

The legislative package is comprised of two bills that empower communities to improve flawed broadband mapping procedures. The first, the Broadband Speed Act would require internet service providers to annually report data to the FCC that shows the actual speeds they are capable of providing, as opposed to what they can potentially provide within 7-10 business days. This will help demonstrate to the FCC where broadband service is actually matching the speeds being advertised, and where there are still gaps in service. It would also require that new FCC funding awards be built out at speeds of 100 mbps or higher to ensure that they are built to last. 

 

The second bill, the Community Broadband Mapping Act, would allow local governments, electric/telephone cooperatives, economic development/community groups and small internet providers to access USDA Rural Utility Service broadband programs for grant funding that would allow them to collect information on local broadband service. This will allow communities who are currently incorrectly designated by the FCC as having service to take action to have the information necessary to dispute that status with the FCC in any future challenge process at the FCC or at the state level. 

 

 

 

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The Regulatory Mix Today: Broadband Mapping Legislation

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The Regulatory Mix will not be published on Wednesday, October 16th or Thursday, October 17th as we will be hosting our INSITE Fall 2019 seminar and workshop. #TelecomRegulatoryTraining

 

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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.

 

 

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Topics: Broadband Speed Act, Community Broadband Mapping Act, USDA Rural Utility Service

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