Senate Commerce Looks Into Broadband Mapping Issues

The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing next week on broadband mapping, an issue much on the minds of legislators and regulators.

Accurate data on where broadband is and isn't is key to closing the digital divide and determining how much authority the FCC has to regulate in the absence of reasonable and timely broadband deployment.

Related: Dems Seek Explanation of Faulty Broadband Coverage Data

“Broadband Mapping: Challenges and Solutions," is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10.

Witnesses are: Tim Donovan, Competitive Carriers Association; Mike McCormick, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation; Mike Obilzalo, Hood Canal Communications; Jonathan Spalter, USTelecom Association; and Chip Strange, Ookla.

According to the office of Committee chair Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the twin goals of the hearing are to "evaluate the ongoing efforts within the federal government and private sector to collect more accurate broadband coverage data" and to "examine ways to increase coordination among federal agencies that administer broadband deployment programs to ensure resources are targeted to unserved areas."

Republicans and ISPs favor focusing on unserved areas to avoid overbuilding where private capital is already providing service. 

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.