Data & Mapping

Summary of Nomination Hearing for Commissioner O'Rielly

The Senate Commerce Committee held a nomination hearing on June 16 that featured Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O'Rielly. Commissioner O'Rielly's term expired at the end of June 2019, but commissioners can continue to serve until the close of the next Congress. The new term would date from July 1, 2019. 

FCC Chairman Pai Discusses C-Band, the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, and Bad Broadband Maps at Appropriations Hearing

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government held the hearing "Oversight of FCC Spectrum Auctions Program" in which Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai testified. Leading the hearing was Subcommittee Chairman John Kennedy (R-LA), one of the harshest critics of the FCC decision to give satellite companies close to $10 billion in incentive payments to exit the C-Band spectrum by 2021 and 2023 instead of the 2025 deadline the FCC set.

House Commerce Committee Republicans Urge for Funding for Improved Broadband Mapping

House Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH), and fellow subcommittee Republican members urged House Appropriators to provide funding for improved broadband mapping, which is vital for deploying broadband and bridging the digital divide.

The Results Are In for Remote Learning: It Didn’t Work

America took an involuntary crash course in remote learning. With the school year now winding down, the grade from students, teachers, parents and administrators is already in: It was a failure. School districts closed campuses in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic and, with practically no time at all for planning or training, launched a grand experiment to educate more than 50 million students from kindergarten through 12th grade using technology. The problems began piling up almost immediately. There were students with no computers or internet access.

Chairman Pai’s Response to Sen Markey and Rep Eshoo Regarding Broadband Mapping

On April 3, 2020, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep Anna Eshoo (D-CA) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to ensure that as the FCC begins the mapping efforts required under the Broadband DATA Act (which President Donald Trump signed on March 23, 2020), that the FCC include community anchor institutions such as health care facilities, schools, and libraries.

NTIA Adds 5 States to National Broadband Availability Map

Wisconsin, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, and New Hampshire join 13 other states who are partnering in the National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) program. With the addition of five new states, the NBAM is another step closer to creating a national platform that can help inform policymakers and expand Internet coverage across the United States. 

Minnesota state efforts to close internet gap hampering distance learning aren’t being expedited — at least for now

Using data collected from providers across the state, many Minnesotans live in areas that are underserved or unserved — meaning they have inadequate downloading and uploading speeds or no access at all. In addition, there are households that show up as being covered in this map that are actually unserved. Getting a clear count on just how many Minnesota students are lacking adequate broadband access, however, has proven to be a challenge.

Colorado will miss its goal to hit 92% broadband coverage in rural areas by June 2020

The state’s goal to get 92% of rural Colorado connected to decent broadband by June will miss the mark. No single factor was to blame — and it had nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic. But an overall reason is that determining the figure is a crapshoot. “There’s no place for us to go to get more accurate information,” said Anthony Neal-Graves, executive director of the Colorado Office of Broadband, which is focused on getting rural Colorado coverage to 100%.

In $16 Billion Push to Expand Broadband, America Is Flying Through a Fog

The Federal Communications Commission is pushing to spend billions of dollars to close gaps in America's high-speed internet network, but government officials say they don't have a clear picture of where service gaps exist, meaning parts of the country will be left out when it is time to distribute the funds. Citing concerns about the data, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wants to delay plans to auction $16 billion to internet-service providers this Oct to upgrade broadband infrastructure in rural areas. “You don’t manage problems you cannot measure,” Commissioner Rosenworcel said.

Ending the digital divide

The issue of high-speed broadband access has been a concern in Lawrence County (OH) and rural parts of the nation for some time and, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for connectivity has only become more apparent.