Arlington, Va. – National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson today applauded congressional passage of S. 1822, the Broadband DATA Act.
“Bridging the digital divide is impossible without accurate service maps showing who has broadband access and who doesn’t,” Matheson said. “The Broadband DATA Act charts a course for a more connected rural America and is a welcome bipartisan solution under the leadership of the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee. It builds on success of more than 100 electric co-op rural broadband projects and injects much-needed accountability into the broadband mapping process.”
The Broadband DATA Act improves Federal Communications Commission broadband data collection by:
• Requiring providers to include more detailed coverage information in their self-reported data.
• Setting accountability standards for reporting.
• Establishing a process for third parties to challenge provider-reported broadband coverage data.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.