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Data Mapping Takes Center Stage in Broadband Policy

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From Weekly Report

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2009 – Reading through the Federal Communications Commission’s 90-page report, “Bringing Broadband to Rural America,” it is clear that questions of broadband data loom large over the pending national broadband strategy.

The report, which Acting Chairman Michael Copps issued under his own name, came in response to the 2008 farm bill, passed May 22, 2008. As with the Broadband Data Improvement Act, which passed Congress in October, both measures point to the recognition that broadband – as a significant national priority – warrants a significant national policy.

Writes Copps: “Our efforts to bring robust and affordable broadband to rural America begin with a simple question: what is the current state of broadband in rural America? We would like to answer this question definitively, and detail where broadband facilities are deployed, their speeds, and the number of broadband subscribers throughout rural America. Regrettably, we cannot. The Commission and other federal agencies simply have not collected the comprehensive and reliable data needed to answer this question.”

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Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of and President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. His telecommunications-focused law firm, Drew Clark PLLC, works with cities, rural communities and state economic development entities to promote the benefits of internet connectivity. The articles and posts on and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

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