Senator Wicker Introduces Broadband DATA Act

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Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) has introduced the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (Broadband DATA) Act, aimed at improving broadband mapping at the Federal Communications Commission. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and the FCC are in agreement that the government's form 477 carrier-reported deployment data collection has not provided accurate maps on where broadband (fixed and mobile) is or isn't. Chairman Wicker said at the June 12 hearing that the FCC should stop making broadband deployment funding decisions until it can get a better handle on where the money should go. The bill:

  1. Requires the FCC to collect granular service availability data from wired, fixed wireless, and satellite broadband providers.
  2. Requires strong parameters for service availability data collected from mobile broadband providers to ensure accuracy.
  3. Asks the FCC to consider whether to collect verified coverage data from state, local, and tribal governments, as well as from other entities.
  4. 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.

Also sponsoring the bill are Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Sens Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Gary Peters (D-MI).

Wicker Introduces Broadband Data Act Senate Broadband DATA Act Targets Broadband Map Reporting Problems (telecompetitor)