Published by Augusta Free Press on August 9, 2019
Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Co-Chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus, commended the FCC on its approval of an order establishing the Digital Opportunity Data Collection.
This proposal would require broadband providers to offer more detailed information on where they provide coverage and where they do not. It also institutes periodic challenge processes to help increase the quality of maps.
“I am grateful that the FCC is making more accurate mapping a priority to better focus funding on the unserved,” said Wittman. “Addressing our nation’s broadband mapping capabilities is an important step in closing the digital divide. It is no secret our broadband maps can be wildly inaccurate and often lead to overbuilding on already existing networks.”
Congressman Wittman has been a long-time advocate of better mapping. Similar to the FCC’s proposal, Congressman Wittman, along with several colleagues, introduced H.R. 3162, the Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2019, that would require broadband providers to report service availability based on geometric location rather than traditional census blocks.
This would create an improved National Broadband Map that is significantly more accurate, so that federal broadband funds can be better directed to areas that need it the most.
As Co-Chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, Congressman Wittman is fighting to ensure that our nation’s rural and unserved populations are no longer left on the sidelines, but instead gain access to key services such as telemedicine, online education, and applications that help small businesses compete in the 21st Century. He recently testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, advocating for expanding access to broadband in Virginia – one of his top priorities. In his testimony, he specifically stressed the importance of improved mapping.
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