December 18, 2019
Contact: Zach Cikanek
Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) Executive Director Richard T. Cullen released the following statement on the unanimous, bipartisan passage of H.R. 4227, the Mapping Accuracy Promotes Services Act and H.R. 4229, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act by the U.S. House this week.
“CAN applauds lawmakers in the House for their bipartisan commitment to accurately mapping and measuring the digital divide,” stated Cullen. “Inaccurate data on the rural broadband gap threatens to underestimate the scale of the challenge and can misdirect critical resources and deployments.”
“We encourage the Senate and the FCC to build on the bipartisan momentum for action and hasten their efforts to fix faulty broadband maps,” Cullen continued. “Millions of Americans living in rural areas stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide are counting on it.”
The latest data available from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) found 24.7 million Americans, 19.4 in rural areas, lack broadband connectivity. An analysis of usage data, conducted by Microsoft, found a staggering 162.8 million Americans do not access the internet at broadband speeds – indicating the scale of the digital divide is much larger than current FCC figures suggest.
In August, the FCC announced it was taking initial steps to improve broadband mapping through the Digital Opportunity Data Collection.
Read CAN’s statement on that announcement HERE.