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US Senators File Bill to Secure Accurate Mapping for Broadband Expansion

By Ken Briodagh May 18, 2017

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has filed a bill that, if passed and signed into law, would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to collect accurate and up-to-date data on wireless broadband coverage. This “Rural Wireless Act of 2017” is written to help provide broadband access for constituents in rural areas by ensuring current mobile broadband coverage data is correct.

“Having good data is where everything starts,” said Tom Ferree, CEO, Connected Nation, a company that specializes in accurate broadband coverage maps. “There is no way for a county commissioner, much less an FCC commissioner, to know what really needs to be done until accurate data is collected and analyzed. For that reason, Connected Nation has always relied on a team of skilled broadband engineers and GIS analysts to not only map where broadband is and where it isn’t, but in also determining that where access does exist, is it truly to today’s requirements for speed and reliability. These additional qualitative measures must be in place to further ensure that we are not effectively leaving families and businesses out of opportunities for improved economics, better education, and even regular healthcare.”

“The broadband mapping methodologies that we have developed and continue to evolve allow us to pinpoint the areas that are consistently being left out,” said Ashley Hitt, Director of GIS Services for CN. “For mobile wireless coverage, we’ve been able to collect and analyze very detailed data for a number of carriers across the country that not only show the service gaps, but help both local officials and the ISPs visualize where expansion efforts should be focused.”

The bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). 




Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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