Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored legislation to improve broadband data maps and increase broadband access in rural areas. Introduced by U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act would improve the accuracy of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) broadband availability maps by improving the process by which broadband data is collected.
“Nevadans can’t connect with their communities or compete in the 21st century economy without reliable broadband, which is why I’m working every day to close the digital disconnect facing our rural and urban communities. I’m proud to support legislation that improves data for broadband mapping, enabling us to identify and empower the communities that fairly need broadband resources the most. Our unserved and underserved communities deserve transparency from internet providers and the same reliable access to broadband afforded to so many other communities in America. Only then can we leverage resources for education and commerce and maintain Nevada’s leadership in technology and innovation.”
In addition to U.S. Senators Cortez Masto, Wicker, Klobuchar, Peters and Thune, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Susan M. Collins (R-Maine), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Angus S. King, Jr. (I-Maine), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), James E. Risch (R-Idaho), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) also cosponsored this legislation.
Specifically, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act:
- Requires the FCC to collect granular service availability data from wired, fixed wireless and satellite broadband providers.
- Requires strong parameters for service availability data collected from mobile broadband providers to ensure accuracy.
- Asks the FCC to consider whether to collect verified coverage data from state, local and tribal governments, as well as from other entities.
- Creates a process for consumers, state, local and tribal governments, and other groups to challenge FCC maps with their own data.
- Requires the FCC to determine how to structure the process without making it overly burdensome on challengers.
Full text of the bill is available here.