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The push continues to improve rural broadband data maps

Published by Farm & Ranch Guide on April 2nd, 2019

By Argi-Pulse Staff

A bipartisan group of senators hope a bill directing the Federal Communications Commission to improve broadband coverage and mobile data maps will bridge the digital divide across America and correct “vastly inaccurate” mapping of the issue.

The Improving Broadband Mapping Act directs FCC to complete a rule considering consumer-reported data along with local and state data from government entities. The bill also directs FCC to consider ways to better challenge fixed and mobile data collection.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Min., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and John Hoeven, R-N.D. introduced the bill.

“We need reliable data on where service exists and where it does not,” Klobuchar said.

The bill comes almost a month after FCC released the Draft 2019 Broadband Deployment Report in February. According to FCC data, since last year’s report, the number of Americans lacking access to a fixed broadband connection dropped 25 percent from 26.1 million Americans in 2016 to 19.4 million in 2017.

“This report shows our approach is working,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a February statement. “But we won’t rest until all Americans can have access to broadband.”

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