WASHINGTON, July 17 - Communications Workers of America this past week teamed up with a group of telecommunications companies, cable operators and non-profit groups to push for Congress to pass broadband data legislation.
In a Friday letter and a Monday press release, the groups wrote "to express [their] strong support for Congressional action to promote greater availability and adoption of broadband high-speed Internet services."
They want "a national policy" to encourage more broadband deployment, and they cite economic statistics about broadband's potential.
And, as a first step, these companies and CWA want Congress to pass the Broadband Census of America Act, H.R. 3919, or the Broadband Data Improvement Act, S. 1492.
Curiously, last month another large coalition announced a similar campaign. They call themselves Internet for Everyone.
Led by Google and the non-profit group Free Press, the organization boasts some the Internet's leading luminaries, including Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig and internet "co-father" Vint Cerf, now at Google.
"Broadband’s potential to unleash innovation, promote free speech and encourage learning makes this technology the key to the future success of the U.S. economy and American democracy," read the group's first position paper. "But to unlock broadband’s limitless potential, it must be universally available and affordable."
The message is the same -- but the messengers are different.
Signing on to the CWA missive were Connected Nation, a Bell-, cable-, and state-funded organization that maps the availability of broadband, as well as the big Bells (AT&T, Verizon, Qwest), smaller telcos (Winstream, OPASTCO), cable titans (Charter, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable), and non-profit groups that frequently align themselves with telco priorities, including the Alliance for Public Technology and the Internet Innovation Alliance.
The Internet for Everyone collection is heavy on the Free Press crowd, including media reform reform groups now zealous about broadband, established non-profits (ACLU, Consumers Union, Common Cause, One Economy, Public Citizen, Public Knowledge, Sunlight Foundation), and tech companies with an internet focus (BitTorrent, eBay, Computer and Communications Industry Association and Google).
Of the 30 groups that signed on to the CWA missive, and of the 100 that are listed on Internet for Everyone's web site, only two groups are on both lists: EDUCAUSE, and the American Library Association.
Welcome to the world of telecom politics.
Both coalitions say want a better internet, or even some kind of a national policy with some sort of a national broadband strategy. Indeed, both groups seem to agree that some kind of concerted action is necessary on broadband.
"There is a growing consensus on the need for broadband, and the need for government involvement to make the next generation of broadband happen," says Wendy Wigen, government relations officer for EDUCAUSE.
"The industry, together with the CWA, have really come to that conclusion themselves," said Wigen. But when the two divergent groups look towards developing broadband strategies, "there is still a lot of dissention between the two groups."
BroadbandCensus.com certainly agrees -- with both groups -- on the need for better data about broadband.
We see a need for information about where broadband is available, just as does Connected Nation. Consumers also need to know the names of the companies that are that are offering broadband. You can find that on BroadbandCensus.com.
We also see the need for more accurate data about internet speeds, as does the speedmatters.org web site of the Communications Workers of America. Consumers also need to know which carriers offer the fastest and the slowest speeds, and whether they are living up to the speeds that they promise to offer. You can find that on BroadbandCensus.com.
Whether you're part of the CWA crowd, or the Free Press-Google group, we hope you'll turn to BroadbandCensus.com as your free, consumer-friendly resource about broadband data.
Blog Entries and Position Papers Referenced in this Article:
- Communications Workers Union Urges Congress to Move Forward on Broadband Mapping
- Connected Nation Joins with National Leaders to Encourage Federal Broadband Legislation
- One Nation Online, Internet for Everyone (PDF)
- EDUCAUSE Signs Letter Urging Congress to Support Pro-Broadband Legislation
- Connected Nation web site
- speedmatters.org web site
- CWA Blog Claims Credit for FCC Data Order, But Ignores Local Company Data (BroadbandCensus.com, June 24)
- NEW! Also see: Comments of BroadbandCensus.com in FCC Rulemaking on Broadband Data (BroadbandCensus.com, July 18)
- Big Tech’s Response to Coronavirus: Face Masks, Hiring Binges, Free Web Sites and Cash Donations
- Democrats Call for New Infrastructure Stimulus Legislation Includes Large Broadband Provision
- The FCC Could Do More Now About the Digital Divide, Say Panelists at Broadband Breakfast Live Online Event
- Coronavirus Roundup: Senators Urge Distance Learning, Zoom Privacy, NTIA Broadband and RUS Grants
- Federal Communications Commission Proposal for Unlicensed Spectrum in 6 GHz Band Widely-Praised
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Health4 weeks ago
Battling Coronavirus COVID-19, Broadband Could Provide Relief Although Telemedicine May Not Help
Health3 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online Will Stream Daily in March on ‘Broadband and the Coronavirus’
Net Neutrality1 month ago
FCC Seeks Comment on Net Neutrality Issues Remanded by Appeals Court: Public Safety, Pole Attachments and Lifeline
Section 2301 month ago
Attorney General Bill Barr Calls for ‘Recalibrated’ Section 230 as Justice Department Hosts Tech Immunity Workshop
Artificial Intelligence1 month ago
U.S. Progress on AI and Quantum Computing Will Best China, Says CTO Michael Kratsios
Antitrust1 week ago
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Brings Global Antitrust Experts Together in Videoconference
Broadband Mapping2 weeks ago
Commerce Department’s NTIA Details Its New-Found Progress in Broadband Mapping Technology
Broadband Mapping & Data1 month ago
Poor Broadband Maps and Lack of a Consolidated Voice Hinder Advocacy for Better Rural Internet