WISPA Applauds House Hearing on Better Broadband Mapping
The following statement concerning today’s House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on improving broadband mapping may be attributed to Christina Mason, WISPA VP of Government Affairs:
Washington, DC, September 11, 2019 – For far too long, policymakers have had only opaque information derived from inaccurate maps to guide where subsidies for broadband should be allocated. This paucity of data has had significant negative consequences for rural Americans, where nearly 20 million individuals still lack FCC-benchmarked broadband services. The Subcommittee is right to address, study and work to correct the myriad deficiencies in our present broadband mapping system. Having good broadband maps plays an integral role in getting all Americans, no matter where they live, online and participating in the digital economy.
WISPA and its industry partners have long-worked to make broadband mapping more accurate. It’s simple: Recognizing where broadband truly is and isn’t is vital to reduce the digital divide. To this end, we recently completed a pilot mapping initiative which, through the creation of a broadband serviceable location fabric, provides a critical dimension of detail needed to comprehensively understand the extent of the digital divide. We are highly encouraged that Congress is taking a good look at this and other approaches toward improving broadband mapping. Having more information on gathering the right information only serves to make U.S. broadband maps better.
Sound, granular and accurate data means U.S. taxpayer dollars go further, and, more importantly, more Americans having online access. And this means a more connected and prosperous nation. WISPA applauds the Subcommittee for its hearing today, and pledges its efforts to work with all interested parties to create broadband maps that work to eradicate the digital divide.
WISPA’s approximately 800 members are composed of fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and the industry that supports fixed wireless broadband, including equipment suppliers, support services, and other components needed to run a successful business. Our members, and WISPs, in general, provide broadband access to over 4 million residential and business customers, often in exclusively rural areas.