June 12, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation’s oversight hearing of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). During the hearing, Chairman Roger Wicker (MS) announced he would be introducing bipartisan legislation to improve the Commission’s broadband maps, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated the Commission would vote in August on a proceeding aimed at improving the Commission’s broadband data.
“The absence of accurate and granular data continues to be one of the biggest barriers both public and private partners face in their efforts to bridge the digital divide. The flawed wording in Form 477 inevitably leads to overstated claims of broadband availability throughout rural America, and the Commission should seriously consider reporting data only on areas that are actually served as well as using subscription and usage data to improve the accuracy of its maps. Members of the committee were right to question Chairman Pai and his fellow commissioners about their plan to improve the FCC’s broadband maps.
“We are encouraged to learn that the Commission now has a planned vote to improve broadband data and hope they will use this opportunity to make much-needed reforms to Form 477. In the meantime, we appreciate Senators Wicker, Thune and Klobuchar’s continued leadership on this critical issue and look forward to reviewing their legislation.”