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Inouye Introduces Broadband Data Bill

A Senate bill has been introduced that would require the FCC to collect better data on the rollout of broadband.

Introduced by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, the Broadband Data Improvement Act (S. 1492, though there were no Columbus analogies invoked) would take several steps. Among other things, the bill would require the FCC to reconsider its current 200 kilobit broadband standard (many argue that is too slow a speed to be counted), create a new "second generation broadband figure for speeds capable of delivering HD video, require the FCC to report broadband availability by nine-digit zip codes so that it could more precisely pinpoint who was and wasn't getting the service, and require an annual, rather than periodic, inquiry into deployment.

The bill would also provide $40 million in yearly grants to match state investment in identifying barriers to broadband adoption.

"It is imperative that we get our broadband house in order and our communications policy right," said Inouye in announcing the bill. "But we cannot manage what we do not measure.”   

The House last week held a hearing on a draft of a similar bill.