Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act

National Broadband Map 3.0: Thankful for Continued Improvements

Everyone associates this time of year with Thanksgiving, but, for those of us who occasionally visit, there’s another reason for anticipation when the calendar turns to November: new broadband maps. The third iteration of the National Broadband Map is now publicly available. Notable highlights include:

House Communications Subcommittee Witnesses Disagree on AI for Broadband Maps

Experts disagreed on the potential for artificial intelligence to aid broadband mapping efforts at a House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing. Courtney Lang, a vice president at tech industry trade group ITI, said AI could be used to improve the quality of current broadband maps. A machine learning model could do that by using past data to identify buildings that are likely to be accurately marked as having adequate broadband, according to Lang. But Nicol Turner Lee, director of the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, urged caution.

Majority Staff Memo | Connecting Every American: The Future of Rural Broadband Funding

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 8.3 million households lack access to high-speed broadband. Providing universal access to communications service—initially voice service and now broadband—has always been a challenge in the United States. Although connecting urban, populated areas is relatively easy, serving sparsely populated rural areas is difficult due to differences in terrain and population density.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel's Testimony Before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee

I want to start by thanking the Subcommittee for its decision to provide full funding for the Federal Communications Commission in your Fiscal Year 2024 FSGG bill. The work of the FCC matters. I’d like to highlight some the Commission’s recent work, made possible by your support of our budget, under my leadership. First, the Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program, the largest broadband affordability program in our nation’s history, now helps 21 million households pay for high-speed internet service.

Fixed Wireless Access Cellular Speeds

Fixed wireless access (FWA) speeds are fast for those close to a transmission tower but slower as the distance increases. According to speed tests from a Verizon tower in a suburban county, the closest locations are getting 300 Mbps, while customers just over a mile out are getting around 75 Mbps, and by the third-mile radius, speeds have dropped a lot closer to 25 Mbps download.


Communications and Technology Subcommittee

House Commerce Committee

Thu, 09/21/2023 - 09:00


Jonathan Spalter, President and CEO, USTelecom — The Broadband Association

Witness Testimony

Justin Forde, Vice President of Government Relations, MidCo

Witness Testimony

Red Light Report

In June, the Biden administration allocated $42.45 billion in Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funding among states—the largest single pot of federal broadband spending in our country’s history. Biden officials at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) made these allocations despite repeated requests from lawmakers and communities across the country to first improve the data underlying NTIA’s funding decisions.

One More Mapping Challenge

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is requiring state broadband offices to have one final mapping challenge at the state level before the state can issue the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grants. This final challenge is the one that folks have been waiting for since the NTIA suggests that there can be a challenge against the claimed broadband speeds. My consulting firm has been working with communities, and we are still seeing a lot of inaccurate information.

Virginia is getting an extra $250 million for broadband expansion, thanks to researchers at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech bested the Federal Communications Commission in mapping the commonwealth’s broadband needs. The prize: an additional $250 million in federal money to help fill those high-speed internet voids. The Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology calculated that the FCC had undercounted by 180,000 underserved locations and challenged the numbers. The FCC conceded about 80,000 locations that are now eligible for support from the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act’s (IIJA) Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.

A random sample of the Digital Divide

A tour of the remaining United States Digital Divide from a home in Quincy (CA) to an unserved farm in Newton (NC) to a home in Troy (AL).  These locations (and more) are from a random sample of BEAD-eligible unserved and underserved locations that are not part of the Federal Communications Commission's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) or Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM) programs.