Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission, has set up her own mechanism for gathering data on broadband deployment — or, more to the point, lack of deployment.
She told an FCC oversight hearing audience on Oct. 25 that she has set up an e-mail account, firstname.lastname@example.org, and is encouraging the legislators’ constituents who “have not been able to get service, or live in an area that lacks it” to write her about it.
She noted that the National Broadband Map, created along with broadband subsidies in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has not been updated in more than three years. The Commerce Department, which had funded it, ran out of stimulus funding for that task.
Related: House Looks at Broadband Mapping, Definitions
Rosenworcel said she will share that crowd-sourced broadband availability info with agency chair Ajit Pai and the other commissioners.
“Too often the FCC cobbles together data for each individual rulemaking and report without a comprehensive and updated snapshot of where service is and is not,” she said in prepared testimony for the hearing.
Closing the digital divide is one of Pai’s key agenda items, too. Rosenworcel clearly has a different view of how that can be achieved.
She also took the opportunity to brand as “crazy” the FCC’s suggestion, in seeking comment on broadband deployment, that it could reset the 25 Megabits- per-second high-speed broadband benchmark set under former chair Tom Wheeler to 10 Mbps. “We won’t solve our broadband problems by lowering our standards,” she said.
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