Inouye Calls for Immediate Passage of the Broadband Data Improvement Act


At a hearing titled "Why Broadband Matters," Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) said, "Broadband matters because broadband communications have become the great economic engine of our time. Broadband deployment drives opportunities for business, education, and healthcare. It provides widespread access to information that can change the way we communicate with one another and improve the quality of our lives. This is why our discussion today is not about pipes and providers. It is about people; our citizens stand to gain the most from universal broadband adoption." He called for passage of the Broadband Data Improvement Act (S. 1492), which is designed to enhance our understanding of broadband deployment and adoption in every state. Chairman Inouye said, "This is not about regulation or deregulation. This is about getting the facts, because from good information flows good policy. So I hope, in the remaining days of this Congress, that the members of this Committee can work together to advance this bill in the Senate. Together we can look back and say we understood that broadband matters and that we did something about it." The House has already approved legislation by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), which, like Inouye's bill, would expand the FCC's current ZIP code method. The new data obtained by Markey's proposal would be used to create a national, searchable map of broadband availability. The bill also provides $300 million for grants to help deploy broadband in underserved areas of the country.

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