Broadband mapping bill off to President
Congress has passed legislation to improve broadband coverage maps and target funding toward areas in most need.
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall is thankful to the lawmakers who approved the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act, saying reliable access to broadband is no longer a luxury but a necessity for farmers, ranchers and their rural communities.
Current broadband coverage maps are not accurate because they rely on census block data. Census blocks are too large in rural areas to accurately determine needs.
The bill also requires the Federal Communications Commission to establish an audit process to ensure internet service providers are providing accurate data used to create the maps.
The FCC says nearly 40 percent of rural Americans lack access to minimum speed broadband, compared to only 4 percent of urban Americans who lack the service. There is no data about connectivity on cropland and rangeland.