ACT: NTIA More Likely Than FCC to Produce Unbiased Broadband Report

ACT: The App Association, which represents more than 5,000 app developers and device makers, said the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) should be the one collecting and compiling data on broadband availability, not the FCC.

"[T]he technology administration [NTIA] is more at home working across government agencies to put together an unbiased report," said ACT senior policy director Graham Dufault in a blog. NTIA is the White House's chief tech policy advisor as well as overseeing government use of spectrum.

NTIA was in charge of populating a broadband availability map as part of broadband stimulus funding allocated during the Obama Administration, but that funding ran out in 2015 and the FCC took over the job.

House Communications Subcommittee chair Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has introduced legislation to return oversight of that data collection and mapping to NTIA.

ACT is all for it. "We hope that Congress can successfully shift the responsibility of broadband mapping back to NTIA, and we encourage the agency to gather and report data at a more granular level...Unlike the FCC, the NTIA reports on how airwaves are used at every frequency, and acts as 'landlord' or 'property manager' for spectrum licensed to any federal agency."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.